Claudio Ranieri asked Sampdoria to ‘show courage’ against Atalanta and Lazio, but is keeping his feet on the ground after surprise wins.
This was the third consecutive victory for the Blucerchiati, who beat Lazio 3-0 last week, and put them temporarily in third place alongside La Dea on nine points.
Ranieri has a remarkable record against Gian Piero Gasperini, winning six of their total nine meetings.
“We were in full relegation battle mode last season and it was so important for us to get points against Atalanta,” Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia.
“It was a good game this time, we suffered a little under the pace of Atalanta’s passing in the first 20 minutes, but we gained belief and I saw the team fight. You have to fight Atalanta, otherwise they can flatten you.”
This was the second big win in a row for Samp, who crushed Lazio 3-0 last week.
“I told the lads that aside from the result, I wanted to see them show courage against Lazio and Atalanta. There would be moments when we’d suffer, and we did, but we had to keep going and be ready when the opportunities arose.
“I know that we have nine points and are 31 away from the magic 40. Last season, we spent the entire time with the water up to our throats, trying to stay out of the relegation zone, and we don’t want to be in that position to the very end again.”
Samp are in sparkling form going into the Derby della Lanterna with Genoa next week.
“We know how much the fans care about the derby, we lost last season, so will try to make up for it and be more concentrated than ever.”
Is it fair to say Sampdoria have become more confident and focused since President Massimo Ferrero ended takeover talks?
“We know that calm is important for a player, coach and everything else. To be honest, I never heard my President say that Sampdoria was on the market.
“I can say we signed the right players to bolster the squad, bring in alternatives in some roles and fill gaps we needed covering.”