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The former Inter Milan striker has shed a number of pounds during the off-season but now needs to improve his fitness if he is to challenge for a first-team role

Adriano has delighted Corinthians with his pre-season weight loss but the club's head coach Tite believes he must now improve his fitness before he is ready for regular action.

The former Inter striker made his first start for Corinthians since returning to Brazil almost one year ago, managing 74 minutes in the 1-0 Campeonato Paulista win over Sao Caetano.

Corinthians now sit joint-top of the Paulistao table alongside rivals Palmeiras.

The striker received a warm applause from the fans, yet Tite is still expecting more hard work from his big-name forward.

He told GloboEsporte: "Just as he reached the condition to be used, he must now look for the intensity.

"He still needs better fitness. It was a first step but it is still in the process of an evolution."

Adriano failed to really make an impact during the weekend's game as he struggled for pace and failed to capitalise on two separate chances.

Tite was fairly coy on whether the troubled striker would appear in Wednesday night's Paulistao game at Portuguesa.

"This week was very tiring. I will think about it later."

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