Sunday February 15 2015
Colantuono 'devastated' by accusations

Stefano Colantuono said being accused of match-fixing was “like being punched in the face,” but focuses Atalanta on Inter.

It kicks off at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

Coach Colantuono was one of 130 people named in the latest investigation into potential match-fixing and illegal betting in 2011, along with Italy boss Antonio Conte and Lazio captain Stefano Mauri.

“Anyone who says they are relaxed during a situation like this is bluffing,” confessed Colantuono in his Press conference.

“This whole affair irritated and troubled me, especially as I only heard about it through the media. In terms of morale, I am devastated. It was like being punched in the face.

“I will go back and try to understand what happened. My lawyers are analysing the paperwork. As I said, it’s a devastating on a psychological level for me and my family. I want to speak to the prosecutor as soon as possible so I have the chance to clear my name.”

Colantuono hasn’t the time to be distracted by off the field issues, as his Atalanta host Inter this afternoon.

“I am an employee of Atalanta, a club I care about a great deal. I cannot afford to drop my guard even for a second. My duty is to the club, the team, the city and the fans, even after such a difficult week.

“I worked so hard to build up a reputation, so to see doubt cast on that by this has really pained me. I had nothing to do with it.

“I am no hero, but I have this weight on my mind and chest. It’s impossible to be relaxed in this situation. I have to find the strength to go on.

“I received shows of support and affection by those who really know me. I am not infallible, but the things I am under investigation for are completely out of my wheelhouse.

“When you face a side like Inter, there are already so many difficulties. They have enormous potential and with each passing week they will climb closer to a suitable position.”

Atalanta are fresh from a last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Fiorentina and Colantuono hinted there would “not be too many changes from that game. We just need to be more concentrated and determined.”

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