Giampaolo rallies the troops: “Let’s play with style and desire”

Marco Giampaolo issued a rallying cry ahead of the 115th Derby della Lanterna as he appeared at a pre-match press conference on Friday lunchtime.

“The derby is a unique game and gives you emotions that you don’t get from other matches – we have to play accordingly,” he said, looking ahead to the Saturday evening kick-off against Genoa. “We know it’s a huge game for the fans and everyone around the club. It’s vital that we don’t renege on our style and playing philosophy – we can’t let ourselves get swept up in the match.”

Despite the two Genoa clubs experiencing wildly different starts to the season, Giampaolo was quick to insist that the table would be irrelevant come kick-off in the derby.

“The table doesn’t matter at all,” he said. “That doesn’t dictate whether you win or lose. The gap between teams gets cancelled out in the derby – it comes down to who deals with the emotion and who stays clear-headed. We’re up against a team that has got less than they could have – the six points they have right now don’t reflect how good their squad is. They have a great team.”

Giampaolo revealed that Samp were happy to be labelled as favourites for the game.

“We’re going out there to win the game,” he said. “If people want to make us the favourites, then we accept the responsibility that comes with that. As soon as the players take to the field, they’ll have a look at the Sud and then get down to it. The derby is the most important match there is and there’s no bigger gift for the fans and everyone at the club than to win it.”

The Doria coach will of course be on the touchline observing the action on Saturday night, but Giampaolo has his eyes set on another vantage point.

“There’s too much tension to enjoy the game in the dugout,” he said. “One day, I’d like to see one from the Sud.”