Sinisa Mihajlovic quoted Dante to prepare Sampdoria for their game with Atalanta. “We were in Hell, but can go to Paradise.”
The mid-table tussle kicks off on Sunday at 11.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.
So rarely one to do things by the book, for his Press conference today the Coach brought a book with him: The Divine Comedy, an epic poem by Dante Alighieri written in the 14th Century.
It describes Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.
“Today I brought a book with me to help me out. The part that stuck out with me was Hell. Dante talked about Ulysses when he urges his men to push past the Pillars of Hercules,” said Mihajlovic.
“I’d like to do the same, pushing my men to keep going and never rest on their laurels. We don’t know where our Pillars of Hercules are. At this stage of the season the men count more than the players. A team that never has enough is a squad with balls. When they win one game, they immediately want to win another.
“Tomorrow it could be the start of a new tournament for us, a campaign this club deserves. We have a tough game against a very difficult opponent, but aside from the result I want to see a team that never gives up.
“If they want to follow me, I assure it won’t be ‘a witless flight.’ When I arrived we were in Hell, now we are in Purgatory and I want to reach Paradise.
“Where is Paradise? That depends on our ambition and what we want. We are in a good position, we’re not mathematically safe yet, but there’s not long to go.”
Alessio Sestu has pulled out with a sprained ankle during training, while Matias Rodriguez has been allowed personal leave in Argentina.
Sampdoria squad for Atalanta: Da Costa, Falcone, Fiorillo; Berardi, Costa, De Silvestri, Fornasier, Gastaldello, Mustafi, Regini, Salamon; Bjarnason, Krsticic, Obiang, Palombo, Renan, Soriano, Wszolek; Eder, Gabbiadini, Maxi López, Okaka, Sansone