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Giampaolo: “Not worried about the atmosphere at Atalanta but we must be at our best”


Giampaolo: “Not worried about the atmosphere at Atalanta but we must be at our best”

Marco Giampaolo knows Sampdoria face a big test of their credentials against Atalanta but insists it will be entirely down to the strength of the opposition, not because of any refereeing ‘compensation’.

Atalanta go into the game after what was widely perceived as a wrong refereeing decision went against them in their previous fixture against Fiorentina, yet the coach feels it will have no bearing on tomorrow’s match.

“I’m not worried about the atmosphere. I don’t believe referees try to balance things out because they are highly professional. There was a mistake but you move on.

“It’s going to be a tough match as it is because Atalanta are a very good side, skilful and physical at the same time. They make it hard for you to play. They’re good in possession and [Gian Piero] Gasperini’s teams are always difficult to play against. They’re good at upsetting your rhythm and balance. We’re going to have to be at our very best.

“We’ve prepared for it well but sometimes a bit of individual quality can turn a game – they have players capable of doing that, as we do.”

If Samp are to get a result at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, they will need to continue their rich vein of defensive form – just four goals conceded in the first seven matches – although Giampaolo insists it is still early days to be drawing any conclusions.

“We haven’t played enough games yet to assess our defensive performances properly yet but so far so good. When you come up against the big teams you realise how good you actually are, individually, collectively and mentally.”

Giampaolo also expressed his satisfaction following a raft of international call-ups for members of his squad.

“Getting called up to your national team makes you feel proud as a player and when you have as many as we do you feel proud as a club too. All these call-ups should benefit the club because the players gain international experience and play at the top level, which is then brought back into the team. I hope it helps to improve us.”

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