By Alex Stevens
Leeds fans have taken to Twitter to express their support for Marco Silvestri after he revealed he is having to dig deep to keep battling away on the sidelines.
The Italian, 25, has been reduced to a bit-part role at Elland Road since Rob Green was signed on a free transfer last summer.
Manager Garry Monk immediately installed veteran Green, 37, as the No1 and he has held on to the first-team position for the entirety of the season.
Silvestri posted a message on his personal Instagram account on Monday morning, that he also uploaded on Twitter, in which he made clear his frustration at his diminished status and hinted at how he is having to summon significant reserves of resilience.
“A person who falls and gets back up is much stronger than a person who never fell,” wrote Silvestri, accompanied by the hashtag ‘resilience’.
A person who falls and gets back up is much stronger than a person… https://t.co/vOQVGbzpuG
— Marco Silvestri (@MarcoSilver1991) February 20, 2017
It is unclear what inspired Silvestri to post the message, or whether he had suffered a new setback beyond his fringe status in the squad.
But fans responded in their droves on social media, with most urging the 25-year-old to keep working hard and that his opportunities will come.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
— Evolved Artists Ltd (@EvolvedArtists) February 20, 2017
@MarcoSilver1991 Keep at it Marco, youre a top keeper. Must be hard for you but it will work out. Great man too!
— Phil Varlow (@phillufc1966) February 20, 2017
@MarcoSilver1991 keep going Marco . ALAW
— Tim Bywater (@stjimmylufc) February 20, 2017
@MarcoSilver1991 Keep moving forward man, your time will come!
— timothy stringer (@timothystringer) February 20, 2017
— Chops (@OfficialChops) February 20, 2017
@MarcoSilver1991 everyone loves you at Leeds Marco ????????????????
— Tim Fullen (@FatBastardTimmy) February 20, 2017
@MarcoSilver1991 keep at it
— Mick Byrne (@kcimbyrne) February 20, 2017
Silvestri has not started a single league match this season, with all six of his appearances for Leeds coming in the cup competitions.
By contrast, Green has been named in the starting XI for all 33 of the team’s Championship fixtures as they push hard for promotion to the Premier League.
Leeds are fifth in the table after accumulating 58 points from 33 matches and are well placed to secure a top-six finish and a place in the end-of-season play-offs.
Silvestri, who joined Leeds from Chievo in the summer of 2014, might have to wait for an injury to Green to get a chance between now and the end of the season.
The former Italy Under-21 international is contracted to the Yorkshire giants until June 2018 after signing a four-year deal when he made the move from his homeland.