Friday July 17 2020
Zenga will miss Nainggolan against Sassuolo

Walter Zenga has claimed Cagliari must step up to fill the void left by injured Radja Nainggolan as the Rossoblu host Sassuolo on Saturday.

The former Sampdoria coach replaced Rolando Maran right before the break but has not been able to lift the spirits at the Sardegna Arena.

Two victories in three matches after the resumption has since been followed by a winless run of five games and the coach must cope without Nainggolan when on-form Neroverdi arrive this weekend.

“The fact that Radja is an important player is not something I found out myself,” Zenga said at a press conference. “Tactically, his personality and his leadership are important.

“Without him, the team must take more responsibility, of course. Now, we have a squad of 14 to 15 players and we must continue with them until the end.

“Gaston [Pereiro] did fairly well after entering in Genoa, if he understands that it’s enough to dribble four or five, he will be fine.”

Zenga admitted he immediately looked at the stats after the 3-0 defeat to Sampdoria.

“My first thoughts were related to the statistics, as we conceded three goals from four shots on target.

“Accidents can happen, but if you look at the other games, there are many of them.”

But he claimed the match against the Blucerchiati wasn’t the worst performance since he took charge in Sardinia.

“I disagree, each game has it’s own story and must be viewed individually. We didn’t materialise, you don’t remember [Maya] Yoshida’s save on [Nahitan] Nandez’ attempt.

“Joao [Pedro] came in at half-time after a couple of chances. There have also been some positive things, like the recovery of [Pancrazio] Faragò.

“There are things that remain inside the dressing room, but I would underline that the commitment of a [Alberto] Paloschi, who, even if he doesn’t play much, is always ready to contribute.”

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