Giampaolo wants more than just local bragging rights

It’s been a good week for the Blucerchiati side of the city after last week’s derby triumph but it’s in the past now and Sampdoria must look forward to bigger and better things. That was the gist of Marco Giampaolo’s message ahead of Saturday’s game against Bologna.

“Local bragging rights are nice,” the coach admitted at a media conference on Friday, “but we mustn’t settle for winning the derby. We have to keep fighting for something bigger – staying in the mix for European football right till the end. It’s rewarding for us professionally, and I don’t mean financially. It shows us and others that we’re good enough to be up there.”

With Bologna embroiled in a relegation dog fight, Giampaolo knows it will be extremely difficult to leave the Stadio Dall’Ara with three points but insists it’s just as important for his own side.

“This is the toughest and most important game of the season because of where we’re at and who we’re playing. Bologna are a good team who have changed since [Sinisa] Mihajlovic came in. They’ve picked up more points than us in the last 11 games and they’re fighting for their Serie A survival but we have to win this one.

“We must ride the wave after winning the derby – which won’t mean much unless we get a result tomorrow. The derby is in the past now and, yes, it may have been a historic result but that can cloud your judgement. I wasn’t happy with the stats: we didn’t have enough possession and we sat too deep. I have no interest in personal records unless they help us achieve something important. Sampdoria must benefit.

“We’ve grown in confidence and maturity over the last three years and we’re going to need both things tomorrow. Physical factors don’t come into it at this stage of the season – it’s all about the mental side.”

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