Wednesday February 14 2018
Gasp relishes underdog status

Gian Piero Gasperini is relishing Atalanta’s underdog status against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League. “There’s no glory without risk.”

The first leg of the Round of 32 kicks off in Dortmund on Thursday at 18.00 GMT.

“We earned our right to be here with our performances on the pitch,” said the Coach in a Press conference.

“Considering our results so far in this tournament, this is a starting point and not an arrival. We are measuring ourselves up in a great stadium, with one of the best teams in the Bundesliga. It’s a way to measure ourselves up against the best, as we have been over the last year and a half, where we grew up fast.

“We are all enjoying it, the team, the club and fans. We have thousands of people travelling from Bergamo to Dortmund, our supporters are exceptional. It’s the greatest motivation, to put in a performance that will make them feel gratified and proud.

“It would’ve been nice to have an easier draw, but they say there’s no glory without the risk of failure. We are happy to be here and on paper we are the underdogs.

“I really like Borussia Dortmund, as they have a very attacking spirit and play to score goals. You don’t change the channel when they are playing. We’ll need to be very concentrated to reduce their attacking potential, but we won’t lack character either.”

Atalanta have already beaten Everton and Olympique Lyonnais in the Europa League this season, but this is their first knockout fixture.

“A defeat is never a good result, even if it’s tight, but the important thing is to leave it open for the second leg. Papu Gomez and Mattia Caldara are fine, they are in the squad and can play. We have today’s training session and then we’ll see.”

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