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Gaetano Berardi explains why Leeds' Italian players struggled last season

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Some of Leeds' Italians contingent started slowly at Elland Road.

Leeds United right-back Gaetano Berardi believes the tough conditions in the Championship made life difficult for the club's Italian and ex-Serie B players last season, according to BBC Radio Leeds.

Berardi himself is Swiss but came from Serie B, still making him an Italian import of sorts. And the 27-year-old right-back believes it took several months to adjust to life in England.

It seems the Leeds man was referring to the simple things: pitches, weather, lifestyle. But his own form suggests these are all factors that can be - and have been - overcome.

The Swiss told BBC Radio Leeds: "This season, we have a very nice group together. [The Championship is] difficult. With good conditions, Italian players can play without problem.

"But, if we don't have good conditions, it's very difficult. The first two or three months were difficult for me and the other [Italian] players."

Of a number of players brought to Leeds from Italy, a handful have stood out, while more have fallen completely flat on their face.

But those to have succeeded include Berardi, Marco Silvestri, centre-backs Sol Bamba & Giuseppe Bellusci and forward Mirco Antenucci. The jury is still out, however, on Tommaso Bianchi.

Leeds face Derby County on Saturday afternoon, with Berardi set to start at right-back once again. Meanwhile, owner Massimo Cellino has confirmed the Whites will not be pursuing their interest in Watford forward Fernando Forestieri.

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