Sampdoria coach Claudio Ranieri admitted he was “expecting worse” after a 2-1 defeat to Cagliari in Coppa Italia on Thursday.
A much-changed Samp side were eliminated from the competition, just three days after they lost 4-3 to a Cagliari comeback, but Ranieri was encouraged by what he saw from his fringe players.
“I was expecting a worse game from my team, I have to be honest,” he said after the match.
“Fielding so many new faces always create problems. In the first part of the game, we were timid. We didn’t start to play until we were two goals down.
“Anyway, I congratulate the lads, Cagliari had two shots on target and I can’t remember any great saves from [goalkeeper Emil] Audero.
“I must say we were closer to 2-2 than they were to 3-0, something I am happy about.
The Blucerchiati were unbeaten in four games, prior to their double-header with the Sardinians...
“Now we have to think about the next challenge, that’s what counts.”
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