Gasperini: ‘It’s difficult to play every three days’


Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini admits it’s been a challenge playing every three days, following their 2-1 win over Roma. The victory, courtesy of a brace from Charles De Ketelaere, puts La Dea in form contention for next seasons Champions League with a top 5 finish looking likely. Speaking post-match to Sky Sport Italia, Gasperini talked about the performance, and also touched on the recent praise he received from Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis:

“I’m not sure if we’ve learned anything, except that we had many goal-scoring opportunities but weren’t precise, and thus had to suffer in the end. Not winning this match would have created many problems for us. The substitutions? Some players, like Scamacca, were a bit fatigued. Then, on Wednesday, we have a match, on Thursday, we played against Marseille, and on Monday in Salerno. At that moment, if I could, I would have made five substitutions.”

He then turned his thoughts to the upcoming Coppa Italia final: “Juventus? I’ve seen very little, only bits of the first half. We are in very good shape for this match, but it’s hard to say when you play every three days. Since February 27th, we’ve been playing three matches a week. Now we hope for Kolasinac’s recovery, but if we have everyone available with this squad, we can manage this number of games. Then we approach this Coppa Italia final with great enthusiasm.”

Regarding one of the emerging talents of the season: “De Keteleare? It was well known that he could play; otherwise, Milan wouldn’t have made such an investment. Here with us, he’s developing; today, he was everywhere on the pitch. Fundamentally, he’s a guy who needs to feel good, he has many characteristics, and he also has physicality. In my opinion, he still has room for improvement.”

Finally, Gasperini compared the different teams during his tenure at Atalanta: “Which is my best Atalanta? There are so many players who have been through my cycle. Just looking at Roma, there’s Spinazzola, Mancini, and Cristante, then Freuler in Bologna, but I can tell you many more. They are two fairly similar teams in mentality, then in that team, Ilicic and Gomez stood out a lot technically; this one is a bit more homogeneous. But I don’t like to make comparisons so much because I’m so fond of all these players that it’s difficult for me.”

In a lighter moment during the press conference: “The recovery against Fiorentina…”

During the press conference, Gasperini jokingly added, “We’re trying to close the game quickly so we can give away the recovery against Fiorentina.” Obviously, the coach emphasized that it was a joke, adding that “this way we avoid further controversies.”

Speaking to Sky Sport microphones, Gasperini then responded to a question about Napoli’s interest in him: “De Laurentiis? It was in 2011 when he approached me, but I went to Inter. I must say that the president has always had great respect for me, even in the following years. But now I think only about what the end of this season holds because every match is decisive. If you get three points in the league, it’s closed, if you win the Cup, it’s closed, if you win the Europa League, it’s closed. But for now, you haven’t done anything yet.”


Serie A obsessive.