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Stankovic: “We need to play with heart and our heads”


Stankovic: “We need to play with heart and our heads”

Dejan Stankovic wants to turn Sampdoria’s fortunes around with the team languishing in the relegation zone, starting with the clash at Mapei Stadium against Sassuolo on Wednesday.

“A new season is starting for us,” he explained in his first press conference of 2023. “There will be 23 games and 23 finals. We’ve been working so hard over the last 50 days. We needed to make so many changes, starting with our mentality. We have to take on every opponent as if it’s the last and take a good look at ourselves, while always remaining compact as a group. I’ve seen some good things and had some good responses, but the real outcome will only emerge on the pitch.

“The break came at the right time for us and has certainly helped us. We’ve readied ourselves for a fight and need to be much stronger than before when faced with the difficulties that will definitely come our way. We need to keep our feet on the ground, play with heart and also keep our heads. Sassuolo are an established team that has been playing great football for years. We’ll give it a go.

“It’s not the last-chance saloon,” concluded Stankovic. “We have to take an initial step forward in order to go after our target. I know the fans will always be behind us. The supporters won’t budge an inch and we need to follow their example. I believe and so do the players.

“The new arrivals, [Sam] Lammers and [Bram] Nuytinck, are ready and want to show what they can do by giving their all for Sampdoria. We need to give our fans consistency and fight with them to remain in Serie A.”

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