La Gazzetta Interview: Gian Piero Gasperini – Chances of making 4th spot less than 50%

Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport

Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of Genoa Coach Gian Piero Gasperini…

Gian Piero Gasperini

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Genova. “I must admit: winning two derbies and being 19 points ahead of Sampdoria at the end of the championship would have been too be hard to believe”. Gian Piero Gasperini, the day after his second victory in the Genova derby, sees the Champions League goal getting closer. “Who would have thought that we would have been competing for such targets?”.

Although with a few regrets. To think of the defeats against Lazio and Bologna could be disappointing now…

“There’s only satisfaction. Making a few mistakes in a season is natural. Our bad spell lasted two matches, not very bad. Other teams had longer ones, all but Inter. It’s also thanks to our style of play, that helped us when we had to do without Milito or Motta”.

Be honest, after the defeat against Bologna did you have some doubts?

“Never. The derby was the answer for those in doubt, I was always confident I had a team in good shape”.

How much of a chance do you have of reaching fourth place?

“Less than 50%. Fiorentina have one more point, which means a lot. The fixture lists are similar, let’s hope everything is fair and let’s see how it goes”.

Week 37 with Torino-Genoa and Lecce-Fiorentina seems to be the decisive one.

“The most important match for me is the next one, just as much as any other match will be”.

The derby left you with 2 banned players and Biava’s injury, who’s in hospital for a fractured rib. The championship is over for him.

“These things will affect us. Unfortunately we fell into Sampdoria’s trap, reacting to their provocations. We still have the resources to go on”.

Are you referring to tactical inventions like the one exhibited by Sculli during the derby?

“We had prepared three solutions for the derby. The first one didn’t work so we put into action the second one. From this point of view, and more, we can still surprise”.

And then?

“Well there’s Papastathopoulos, who’s ready now. He would have had his space anyway because he’s very strong. He’s going to show it now”.

Is Modesto lost instead? After the injury he disappeared.

“He had some problems but I’ve seen him train for a few weeks, the thing is that Bocchetti and Criscito are doing too well and they didn’t have breaks. Injuries and suspensions will open the door for him”.

So do you still believe he can return and help the team?

“Of course, because in case of any more problems there’s Rossi: he would be able to replace even Rubinho, if it was necessary”.

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