Saturday February 17 2018
Giampaolo: 'Face Milan head-on'

Marco Giampaolo doesn’t see the meeting with Milan as a play-off for Europe, but Sampdoria “will face the opposition head-on.”

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“The team is calm and aware of its capabilities,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I read that there will be many of our fans at San Siro, so we won’t be alone. It’s a game we must play with our principles, which means facing the opposition head-on.”

Samp come fresh to this match, whereas the Rossoneri played practically a full-strength line-up in their 3-0 Europa League victory away to Ludogorets on Thursday.

“At times fatigue is mental more than physical, but Milan won and will be if anything more fired up, so I expect them to play at 100 per cent of their potential, as will we.

“It’s not a head-to-head for Europe, because there are so many more games ahead of us. If we do well at San Siro and then get the others wrong, it could all be pointless. I have been in a situation as a Coach where I went to San Siro expecting 90 per cent to lose. This time, I am not in that position.

“Milan are in their best period of the season and I will tell my team to go out there and play them on a level playing field. We are playing to ensure we are respected.

“The Rossoneri are solid, but also have players like Suso, Giacomo Bonaventura and Hakan Calhanoglu. Patrick Cutrone knows how to attack the space. We must play well physically, technically and tactically.

“If I were a player, I couldn’t wait to get out there on such a grand stage.”

Gennaro Gattuso took over at Milan amid many doubts, but has turned their campaign around.

“Gattuso represents one of the most wonderful pages in the Milan history books. I like him because he doesn’t take short-cuts. We studied together in the coaching course at Coverciano and I talked about the players who had won the World Cup. We had an appointment at 10.30am, someone was late, but he told me to start anyway and respect the schedule. I like that.”

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