Ranieri: “Details change games but this is the right spirit”

The game plan was almost perfect, then a corner call went the wrong way and Atalanta broke the deadlock, putting an end to Sampdoria’s hopes of leaving with a good result to show for their performance. Claudio Ranieri admitted that luck didn’t go Sampdoria’s way in Bergamo.

“We played really well until they scored and overall I’m happy with our performance. Perhaps we hurried our final ball at time but we played our game, pressed high – and caused problems for Atalanta, the league’s form side. Well done to the lads.

“We set out to win it but if your opponents are better than you and play with a touch more determination and get a bit more luck, you just have to shake their hand and say well done. It’s a shame about the corner that led to their opening goal – it should have been a goal kick. It’s small details like that which win or lose you games.”

Nonetheless, the boss saw more than enough to suggest his men can keep on picking up the points they need beat the drop.

“We’ve been scrapping to get out of the danger zone since the start and we’ll keep scrapping till the end. However, I’m pleased with how the lads are working and applying themselves.

“As for my sending off, I think it was the first time in my career. A more experienced referee might have given me a ticking off without the red card.

“Regarding the changes, I wanted to maintain the mentality I’m trying to instil in the team – that’s why I went with the line-up I did.

“Now we focus on Udinese. It’s going to be another battle but if we keep playing with this spirit we can do it.”

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