Coach Ranieri before Cagliari-Atalanta

First Team - 6 April 2024

Press conference on the eve of the match for Claudio Ranieri, who analyses the momentum of the Rossoblù before they take on Atalanta on Sunday at 18:00 at the Unipol Domus.

“Points should be sought against anyone, without looking at the opponent in front of us”. We certainly have three difficult matches ahead of us, but let’s think one at a time and not make tables or rankings between this or that rival. They are eight very difficult games, for us but also for the other teams fighting not to relegate. I have said many times that as far as the relegation zone is concerned, it turned out to be a separate, exciting championship. Atalanta is a battleship, it plays like a wonder: physical, technical, sometimes it can be perfect. We know what we have to do, with respect but not fear, playing our game.

“We must thank Lapadula every time because he always plays with a patellar tendon problem, he guarantees great sacrifice and dedication to the cause. Pavoletti and Petagna? Leonardo we’re waiting for him and we’ll monitor him step by step, Andrea should be back with us in the next few days and we’ll see how he is, likewise Mancosu we have to keep an eye on daily to understand when he’ll be available again. What is missing for Luvumbo to grow further? He has already made great strides since he arrived in Sardinia, he should be more thoughtful during the game, but then we would risk losing some of his verve and unpredictability, a balance of skills that he will acquire with time. Already today he is an important pawn for us, perhaps in alternating current but very valuable’.

“Our people are commendable, at home we have scored more points than away from home, where in any case the fans are never lacking. Being in our fortress and knowing that we always have the support of the public makes the team feel safer. Tomorrow we will need their support because we will face a great team up front who will then go and play Liverpool, something that has to be kept in mind when we think about who we have in front of us from time to time.”

“With Verona we did better when we put a link-up element back in, missing Gaetano and opting for Viola after the interval. We need that pawn, but it’s true that Verona were a very difficult team to play against, my fear was their counter-attacks and their aggressiveness. Atalanta are even stronger on the counter-attacks. We will have to have all our antennae up to pick up every signal throughout the match. In midfield we have a lot of solutions, Makoumbou wasn’t at his best against Hellas and I knew he wouldn’t guarantee a high performance throughout the match, but there are guys who are doing very well and I’m calm. Gaetano? Like other team-mates he hasn’t done the whole week’s work, but in the last few sessions he’s been improving and so he’s available”.

“We are in the hot phase of the season, everyone has their own goals, it is normal that the referees are also under pressure. Mistakes will always be there, many with VAR have been mitigated or cancelled. I think it is important to try to help the referee, we protagonists are the first to determine the course of a match, also on an emotional level. I like the referee who has his authority on the pitch, then mistakes will always be there, we all make them.”

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