Rogério Ceni predicts more inclusive role for Flamengo's reserves

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Seamus Leonard

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Flamengo manager Rogério Ceni has expressed satisfaction with the depth of attacking options at his disposal.

Ceni selected regular starters Gabriel Barbosa and Pedri, along with fringe players Vitinho and Michael, in their Campeonato Carioca clash against Volta Redonda on Saturday.

Flamengo 4
Volta Redonda 1
Full time

The Rubro-Negro carried a 3-0 lead into the semi-final second leg at the Maracanã, and ran out 7-1 winners on aggregate despite fielding a largely second-string side.

Gabigol bagged a brace, but Michael and Vitinho also managed to get on the scoresheet for the Mengão.

“I think this preliminary phase is important,” Ceni said after the game.

“I also think this desire that they (Michael and Vitinho) had to go back to work, on their own initiative, is very important.

“They introduced themselves a little earlier. And they were important in building the campaign. And they were very important in the course of this championship.”

The Flamengo boss hinted that the pair will play a bigger part in the more prestigious competitions than may have been previously expected.

“I am happy because they are active in the club, have had investment from the club, and that they can be more and more present in the club.”

Flamengo travel to Chile to face Unión La Calera in the Copa Libertadores on Tuesday, before taking on either Nova Iguaçu or Botafogo in the first leg of the Carioca final next Saturday.