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Giampaolo: “This derby is worth three-quarters of a season”

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Giampaolo: “This derby is worth three-quarters of a season”

Marco Giampaolo made no attempt to play down the significance of Saturday’s crunch clash with Genoa when he spoke to the media ahead of the game.

The Blucerchiati go into the Derby della Lanterna five points clear of their city rivals – who currently occupy one of the three relegation spots – with everything still to play for heading into the last four games of the season.

“The derby is always incredibly important but this time even more so – it’s worth three-quarters of a season for both teams,” the boss declared at a media conference on Friday.

“The players know just how much this match means. As a footballer, you have to play games like this at various points of your career. It’s a game that will show how we and our opponents measure up.”

Genoa beat fellow strugglers Cagliari last time out to give their survival hopes a timely boost and the players fresh incentive.

“I expect a very tough, scrappy, hard-fought match,” Giampaolo continued. “That’s how Genoa play – they pounce on you and play balls over the midfield looking to exploit the space in behind. We’ll have to scrap with them and try to carve out openings to display our quality.

“It’s hard for us but it’s harder for those behind us. We’re ready to go out there with the right mentality. We know that a good result would take us closer to our target.

“We’ll have our fans behind us too and I know they’ll have a big role to play as always.”

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