Saturday November 21 2020
Gasperini: 'Atalanta haven't been awful'

Gian Piero Gasperini admits Atalanta are struggling with so many players away on international duty ahead of the Spezia draw, but ‘our season hasn’t been awful.’

This was another disappointing result for the Nerazzurri, who have looked somewhat deflated lately.

They did more to deserve three points this evening, hitting the woodwork with Duvan Zapata, seeing a Robin Gosens goal narrowly ruled offside and forcing Ivan Provedel into a series of saves.

This was Atalanta’s first 0-0 Serie A draw in over a year.

“These are not easy games, we were up against a side in great shape and they were very focused in defence for 90 minutes. We created many opportunities and didn’t convert them, so it ended 0-0.

“The performance wasn’t perfect, but the team did what it needed to,” Gasp told Sky Sport Italia.

Gasperini said before this match that there would be no more squad rotation or experiments.

“Amplifying the squad does not mean strengthening it, that just means having more options. Having said that, our season hasn’t been awful, we haven’t had the points we probably should’ve done, but players are settling in, others have prospects for the future, it’s not going badly.

“Atalanta haven’t changed their targets, we continue to seek players with prospects for the future. We can’t say there was squad rotation today, as it was most of the first choice players.

“I think there has been a distorted communication around Atalanta. There’s so much talk of squad rotation, but these are all part of our team and in my view that’s not really a thing. There isn’t a starting XI and that’s it. I choose the best line-up available for the situation at that time.”

Atalanta do tend to struggle after international duty, especially as so many of them have flown in from South America.

“I always thought international duty was an honour as well as motivation for players. What never happened to me before was that they were away for over a week, arrive on Friday and then we play on Saturday.

“I saw eight players for the first time yesterday and four of them played today. We met at 2pm yesterday, as they arrived the night before at the airport.

“It’s not optimal against clubs who do not have that situation, but we can’t change it, so we must try to do our best in these circumstances.”