Verona coach Ivan Juric admits his team ‘could not compete’ when Sampdoria introduced star names off the bench. ‘When they stepped up a gear, we could not respond.’
Hellas had taken the lead through a Darko Lazovic free kick with numerous other chances wasted, but Samp scored three after the restart for a 3-1 victory.
“We dominated the first half and should’ve been leading by far more than one goal, as we had so many corners, free kicks and shots on target. Then we lose to the first two counter-attacks after the break, that’s on us,” Juric told Sky Sport Italia.
Sampdoria made a triple substitution at half-time, bringing on Keita Balde Diao, Antonio Candreva and Manolo Gabbiadini, with all of them contributing to the goals.
“Quite frankly, Sampdoria introduced players who were a step above ours and we couldn’t compete with that. They brought on players with significantly more quality and when they stepped up a gear, we could not respond.
“We used up all that energy in the first half and achieved just one goal, so we ran out of steam. We are not a very physical team, we don’t have many players who have a strong engine that keeps going for 90 minutes. When playing against Lazio, for instance, you can immediately see the difference.
“The goals were frankly gifted, we gave the ball away cheaply and made mistakes. We went out for the second half saying we’re strong, we have to keep going and dominate this match. Then I saw those three come on and thought right, that’s a whole other level.”