Udinese coach Luca Gotti insists his side started well in the 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria, but suffered once Mato Jajalo was sent off.
"We started off well. [Ilija] Nestorovovski scored early on and then we conceded several chances to Samp in the first half," said the caretaker manager in his press conference.
"We suffered in the second half once we went down to 10 men, until they scored the penalty, we then tried to change the situation, but couldn't."
Jajalo was sent off in the 51st minute with the game at 1-1 for two bookable offences.
"It is the incident that changed the game. However, in saying that, the penalty was also another incident that was crucial. Jajalo is one of the most experienced players in the team, at half-time I told him to manage the situation, but on the pitch things can happen."
Gotti took off goalscorer Nestorovovski once Jajalo was sent off in the 51st minute, but did not regret the decision.
"No. I think it was the correct call. Kevin Lasagna is better at harassing the opponents than Nestorovovski, so I kept him on."
Assistant manager Gotti has remained as head coach since the sacking of Igor Tudor in October and has said repeatedly he doesn't want the job.
"I don't know, the club will decide."
Sampdoria's win now pulls them out of the relegation zone for the first time this season, so what did Gotti make of their performance?
"Samp has a high level of potential, but the fight to avoid relegation is being fought by many sides, and those who lose their heads will pay dearly for it."
Udinese travel to Rome to face Lazio next weekend.
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