Atalanta, Gasperini: Jeering at Muriel ‘Absurd’, Comments on Champions League

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini delivered a press conference following Atalanta’s climactic victory over Milan.

On the subject of the team’s position in the league, Gasperini expressed uncertainty about aiming for the Champions League, but remained resolute in his objective for the team to continue putting on performances like the one against Milan. He acknowledged the challenge of maintaining high-level performances amidst commitments in Europe, and the setbacks of losing players. Despite these trials, he hailed the hard work of his players in settling things on the pitch, and paid due recognition to Milan as a formidable opponent.

On the performance of his team in the second half, Gasperini highlighted the strength and quality of his squad. Sometimes, he noted, the focus is more on the league standings than on performance. But he stressed that with a solid core, great things can be achieved.

Addressing Aleksander Miranchuk and Luis Muriel, Gasperini commended Miranchuk for his dedication and Muriel for his proficiency. He lamented the boos directed at Muriel during the game, stating that such behaviour sends a negative message. However, he praised Muriel’s positive reaction to the jeering. Nevertheless, Gasperini hinted that Muriel might leave Atalanta in January.

Gasperini also commented on Mitchel Bakker and Hans Hateboer, players he believed were somewhat distracted in the past week and would reserve their focus on Thursday. He emphasised the importance of not disappointing in Europe, and opening the gates for those who got less playtime.

Regarding Charles De Ketelaere, Gasperini affirmed his potential but noted the necessity of continuity and resilience. He must not let setbacks in the game get him down, and should persist with positive mentality. The coach revealed that despite making mistakes, De Ketelaere displayed good form in the first half of the match, adapting well and proving his intelligence on the field.

Finally, Gasperini divulged his exasperation on the foul on Ademola Lookman, arguing it was blatant and lethal. His frustration was compounded by the goal his team conceded in the dying moments of the match, but he was pleased that Atalanta managed to bounce back commendably.

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