Claudio Ranieri warns he is demanding “sacrifices” from his Sampdoria players as they seek a "turning point" against Udinese this weekend.
Sampdoria are third from bottom in Serie A but have lost only one of their last five games, and Ranieri hopes the international break has served his players well “mentally”.
“We start over in a positive way,” he told reporters at a press conference.
“The match against Atalanta taught us that we could do good things through struggling and suffering.
“We must proceed with the right spirit and the lads must be ready to sacrifice themselves on the pitch. I hope the break also served us well mentally.”
If the Blucerchiati beat Udinese on Sunday, they will be breathing up the neck of the opponents in the table as only five points separate the two teams before kick-off.
“This match could be a turning point for us, but every match could be decisive for us too.
“Every game could be the right one to get our belief back. We have to know that we are in difficulty and we need to protect ourselves.”
The former Roma boss then praised opposite number Luca Gotti for the job he had done since replacing Igor Tudor at the helm.
“Since [Igor] Tudor left, the team have been doing well. They are compact, careful at the back and relentless in their ways.
“They get from one side to the other with very few touches.”
Fabio Quagliarella and Emiliano Rigoni have struggled to get going this season, but the 68-year-old is ready to stick with them.
“Quagliarella is doing some good work; he is close to returning to form. This team are not sick.
“Rigoni might get a chance, we will evaluate him. He performed well in our last two training sessions. I hope this is just the start of something that will last.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/