Saturday October 24 2020
Gasperini: 'I take responsibility for Atalanta'

Gian Piero Gasperini takes ‘responsibility’ for the 3-1 home defeat to Sampdoria, as he made ‘too many’ experimental Atalanta changes.

He transformed the side that beat Midtjylland 4-0 in the Champions League midweek, changing seven of the starting XI.

“These are the games when a coach feels the responsibility for the result,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

“In certain aspects, the lads did very well, as Sampdoria hardly ever went near our goal, but they scored each and every one. I did the damage with some experiments, creating a work in progress, so we lost our shape and it is really unusual for us to rarely get shots on target that cause problems for the opposition goalkeeper.

“This happens when you try to get too many new players embedded too quickly. We ended up hitting our heads against a brick wall and were constantly in control, except for the final third.

“On the one hand, we do need to get the new players settled as soon as possible, but on the other we must balance it out with not performing too many experiments when we need to get points in the early rounds of the season.”

This was the second consecutive Serie A defeat for Atalanta, who were also beaten 4-1 by Napoli last week, and again they showed real weakness dealing with counter-attacks.

“We didn’t recover our positions properly or quickly enough on the counter-attack. It was a great finish from Fabio Quagliarella, and we had a similar goal conceded in stoppages when the result was still open.

“We spent most of the game in their half and final third, but didn’t create the genuinely dangerous scoring opportunities that we usually do,” continued Gasp.

“It was a good start to the season with three consecutive victories, but we probably need to go through some steps before we find the definitive shape. It’s tough in Serie A, as if you are not at your best, it’s difficult to get a result against any opponent.”

The coach implied he will rein in the squad rotation from now on, trying to maintain more of an identity between the Champions League and Serie A.

“With so many matches to play in three competitions, we have to get the new boys settled, otherwise there simply aren’t enough of us. It might take a few months and this is also probably why Atalanta tend to do better in the second half of the season.

“My decisions were also possibly affected by the fact I could make five substitutions. I remain convinced we don’t need 25-28 players, as it could become chaotic, so we need to keep it to a core of 13-14 until we’ve got our ideas in place.”