Atalanta Coach Edy Reja reveals he told his players to improve on last year because “I don’t want to risk a coronary!”
The Orobici beat Sampdoria 2-1 tonight, continuing a fine start to the season, in contract to last season’s 17th-place finish.
“We can’t let our guards down, but the team is doing well,” Reja told Sky after the match.
“We’ve come up against top teams, and we’ve always tackled them head-on. We’re just lacking a little bit of cynicism, because we played well, but we suffered too.
“Success in this League can often be dependent on knowing how to close a game out. Being up 1-0 until so close to the end causes apprehension.
“I’ve already said to the team and the club that we can’t repeat last year, because I don’t want to risk a coronary.”
Summer signing Martin De Roon had a fine game, and Reja praised the midfielder, as well as goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.
“He [De Roon] is a great player. It was a top performance, at the end he said he couldn’t have taken any more, but I couldn’t make any more changes.
“I moved him to the right for a breather, and put [Giulio] Migliaccio in the middle. De Roon both stops and dictates the action, he’s a very important player for us.
“Players like De Roon would be useful for any side, but then Sportiello is doing incredible things too. For youngsters it’s not easy to repeat a year like our goalkeeper.
“If he continues as he is, he can aspire to great teams.”
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