Giampaolo: “Criticism comes with the territory. We must bounce back against Inter”

It hasn’t been an easy week in Bogliasco with Sampdoria coming in for criticism following last week’s defeat to Frosinone, but Marco Giampaolo has urged his troops to take it on the chin and respond on the pitch against Inter.

“People were right to criticise after the Frosinone game so we have to accept it,” the boss said at a press conference the day before the Blucerchiati’s visit to the San Siro. “It was a match we weren’t expected to lose and it was a painful defeat, but we have to turn the page now and get going again.

“As coaches and footballers we have to live with both criticism and praise and make sure the negative comments don’t get to us. Everyone involved in the game knows how it works. The players have to work with the right mentality so that we can get going again. I’m expecting my players to produce a proper performance tomorrow.”

The boss knows Samp will have their work cut out against Luciano Spalletti’s side, who have been through a bit of a rut themselves but appear to be over it now, having recorded 1-0 victories at Parma and Rapid Vienna in the last week.

“Inter are a very good side. They’re at the top of nearly all the statistics charts that get drawn up every week. Physically, they’re a cut above the rest and they’re a side that’s been put together to compete with the best, although they occasionally suffer the odd setback.

“That said, we need to start picking up results again and make up for last Sunday. We made too many technical errors that ended up having a bearing on the game, although generally our intensity and approach were ok.”

Sunday will be a landmark occasion for Giampaolo as he makes his 100th Serie A appearance in the Samp dugout. “I’ll have earned my retirement after San Siro,” he quipped, before commenting on the match between these two sides in Marassi earlier in the season, when a goal by Marcelo Brozovic deep into stoppage time won it for the visitors.

“We played really well in the reverse fixture against an excellent Inter side and ended up losing but it’s not so much about settling that score as getting ourselves back on track now.”

Inter are likely to be without Mauro Icardi, who was stripped of the captaincy this week following internal issues, but Giampaolo doesn’t believe that will make Samp’s task any easier.

“Without going into any details, situations like his don’t affect the other players. If anything, it makes them even more focused because they know no one’s place is guaranteed.”

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