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Giampaolo: “Atalanta are a model, but we have to go for it”

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Giampaolo: “Atalanta are a model, but we have to go for it”

The week begins on Monday evening with the first of two away trips as Sampdoria head to Bergamo to face an Atalanta side off the back of an impressive win in Athens against Olympiakos to seal their place in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday.

Football, however, is certainly not the main thought in people’s minds at present, as Marco Giampaolo confirmed: “What’s happening in Ukraine at the moment is absolutely awful. We have Vladyslav Supriaha here with us. If he were not here right now, he’d be shouldering a gun like the rest of the youngsters of his age. He’s so worried about his country and his family, but he’s reassured us that his loved ones are doing fine at the moment.”

As for the game itself, Atalanta are a well-oiled machine, although they have some absentees to deal with. Giampaolo was quick to heap praise on Gian Piero Gasperini’s side: “We might have some players missing as well, but Atalanta are certainly a model for Italian football in Europe now regardless of who plays.”

The boss also discussed the refereeing controversy surrounding Atalanta’s recent games against Juventus and Fiorentina: “The appointment of Simone Sozza is irreproachable. It’s true that he’s only refereed 17 Serie A games, but they’ve all been big ones, so that shows he’s a top-notch official, just like Massimiliano Irrati, who will provide further reassurance as VAR, so this game has been given the attention it deserves.”

With uncertainty at the top and bottom of the table, Sampdoria will be looking to build on recent performances to pull away from the drop zone.

“It’s a tough fight involving so many teams. We have to know how to handle ourselves, roll our sleeves up and get stuck in. We can’t look anyone in the face until the last minute of every match because that’s what this league is about. We need to take to the pitch with bravery to play our game and to try to get results each time.”

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