Saturday December 7 2019
Gasperini: 'Atalanta mentality grown'

Gian Piero Gasperini has seen Atalanta’s mentality “grow year by year” and that was evident in their comeback to beat Verona 3-2.

La Dea twice fought back from Samuel Di Carmine goals before winning in stoppages through Berat Djimsiti, once Hellas had gone down to 10 men.

“Our home record hasn’t been as good as last season, but sometimes it’s just a matter of a tricky fixture list and we’re sure it’ll balance itself out,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We had the right approach, but Verona press you high and have very similar characteristics to Atalanta. If you then start making mistakes, such as on the first goal, it makes everything more complicated.”

The winning goal was a combination of all three centre-backs in the Verona penalty area.

“It becomes fundamental when the defenders participate in attacking moves and can surprise opponents, who tend to get stuck on defending certain players and lose sight of others.

“The team kept the faith and turned it around, even after losing Josip Ilicic to injury. I hope it’s not too serious, it’s an issue with the flexor, but it is not a thigh strain. We’ll have to see what the tests say.”

Ilicic has very little time to recover, because Atalanta have a showdown with Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.

“We know this is like a Cup Final for us and we’ve got to approach it in the best possible way,” continued Gasperini.

“The mentality of this team has grown year by year, as is inevitable playing at a high level in Serie A, the Europa League and Champions League.”

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