Francesco Guidolin insists Udinese are “not the favourites” for a Europa League spot despite six consecutive victories.
The Friulani have been propelled into fifth place and they welcome Atalanta this afternoon. Click here for a match preview .
“To adopt a cycling metaphor, this feels like a sprint where we still can’t see the finish line,” said the Coach and huge cycling fan.
“The suffering of the start of the season is now behind us, so we can focus on our objectives and the future.
“Motivation can make the difference in terms of achieving our dreams. I don’t think Udinese are the favourites for a Europa League spot, as we are fighting it out with the others.
“We’ve got great respect for Atalanta, who without the points penalty perhaps would’ve been in the race for Europe too.
“Don’t forget we went through a very tiring and stressful match on Wednesday, so cannot afford to be lacklustre against Atalanta.”
The Friulani won 3-2 in Palermo in the midweek round despite Antonio Di Natale seeing a penalty saved.
Luis Muriel needs a fitness test due to a bruised foot, while Andrea Lazzari is still sidelined.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.