Vincenzo Italiano insists Spezia treat every opponent the same way after holding Atalanta to a 0-0 draw. ‘Our spirit must be the same.’
It was another hard-fought but impressive result from the Serie A newcomers, as Ivan Provedel performed heroics in goal, while Diego Farias and Duvan Zapata both hit the woodwork.
Robin Gosens had found the net in the second half, but it was ruled offside due to Duvan Zapata’s shoulder.
This is Spezia’s first ever Serie A campaign, yet they have a more than creditable nine points from eight rounds.
“We read the predictions before the season began that we were guaranteed to go down, so that sparked some pride and we wanted to prove them wrong,” Italiano told Sky Sport Italia.
“We always said we wanted to leave the pitch with heads held high after every game and we’ve done that today.
“I try to treat all the lads the same way. I have to choose XI who start, but everyone must know what they need to do when called upon.
“We are happy, because this result has given even more value to our victory in Benevento. I have great respect for Gian Piero Gasperini, for what he did in the past and what he’s achieving with Atalanta now. He sets the example for all young Italian coaches.”
Spezia have nine points after eight rounds, the same number that Hellas Verona had at this stage last season following their promotion.
“We will try to irritate every opponent, it makes no difference to us whether we’re against Benevento, Atalanta or Juventus. Our spirit must be the same. I don’t know how our season will go, if there are moments when we’ll struggle for points, but we must never lose enthusiasm, especially against teams who on paper are far stronger.”
Italiano had received an offer to take over at Genoa in the summer after taking Spezia to promotion via the Serie B play-offs.
“I was very flattered to receive interest from Genoa and already knew director Daniele Faggiano, but a bond and a project has been created here. I see promotion and keeping Spezia in Serie A to be on the same level of achievement as nine consecutive Serie A titles, so I wanted to experience it.”