Claudio Ranieri praised Sampdoria for “never losing their way” in the comeback to beat Udinese 2-1 and revealed he tried to sign Gaston Ramirez for Leicester City.
The Blucerchiati had gone behind to an Ilija Nestorovski effort, but Manolo Gabbiadini’s free kick equalised and Ramirez converted a penalty after Mato Jajalo was sent off.
“Udinese scored probably during our best period of the game, but I liked that the lads never lost their way,” Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia.
“It was tough to break down a very tough, defensive and rugged side, but we never lost our desire to win the game or our focus on following the plan.
“When I arrived, Sampdoria had conceded a lot of goals. I am accustomed to setting up teams so they are solid, don’t lose often and that can help increase confidence.
“I told them before this match that it would be difficult, just as tough as Atalanta, so we needed determination and had to get to the ball first.”
The winning penalty was scored by Ramirez after a foul on Fabio Quagliarella.
“Gaston Ramirez started on the flank and would cut inside, which is what I asked him to do. We changed system after the break and he was more of a central role.
“I wanted Ramirez at Leicester City and we spent a month trying to convince him to come. He knew that I believed in him regardless of his playing time so far at Sampdoria, so just had to wait for the right moment.”
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/