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Giampaolo: “We understood the importance of this game”

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Giampaolo: “We understood the importance of this game”

Marco Giampaolo praised Sampdoria after a solid all-round performance earned them three points against Empoli.

Fabio Quagliarella’s double made it back-to-back wins with two clean sheets at the Stadio Ferraris since the coach’s return to the Blucerchiati dugout and the boss was keen to point out the positives.

“It was a difficult game today,” Giampaolo began. “Empoli are a very good team with lots of quality players who can beat their man.

“The lads understood what was at stake and played with heart and spirit. They dug in and went the extra yard for each other. It was a solid, focused performance. We must always look like a team that really wants to win.”

The coach naturally had a few words to say about captain Quagliarella, who was back to his clinical best.

“He made his Serie A debut and scored his first goal with me as coach back in 2005. He did what he does best today: score goals and lead by example. In times of need, he’s your man. He scored his 100th Serie A goal with me, he won the top scorer’s award with me and today he’s reached a century of goals for Samp. I think that says it all.

“It wouldn’t have been wise to keep squeezing everything out of him though and that’s why we took him off. Fabio wasn’t the only one who wasn’t fully fit. We came into this game with a few too many niggles.

“[Abdelhamid] Sabiri was another one but I was impressed with him. I told him to relax and play his football. He produced a great performance on his first outing in Marassi and he has plenty of room for improvement.

“Once we get all our attacking players fit we can do even better.”

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