Gasperini: ‘Atalanta forced into comebacks’

Gian Piero Gasperini won’t rule Atalanta out of a Champions League spot, but questioned why they keep needing comebacks after beating SPAL.

Andrea Petagna had given SPAL the surprise lead, having already scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Atalanta earlier this season, but Josip Ilicic and Duvan Zapata turned it around.

“We are aware of our capabilities, although we often managed to complicate the situations for ourselves with bad starts and we’re forced to make comebacks,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“It has happened too many times now, that we have started badly and then grown into the game. We were rewarded for our efforts with the victory and showed strength to turn it around.

“Petagna came to our locker room afterwards and we told him if he only ever played against Atalanta, he’d be Capocannoniere! He was a big part of our team and we are always pleased to see him do well.”

The win means Atalanta remain attached to Roma and Lazio in fourth place, awaiting Milan’s match with Cagliari this evening, in a battle for the Champions League spots.

“Our position in the table is very good, but there are another 15 rounds to go, we’re just past the midway stage, so there’s time to climb up or slide down more than once.

“It’s not easy to keep this tempo, as we are competing against the two Roman clubs, the two Milanese sides, plus others like Torino and Sampdoria.

“We have to take it one game at a time. There is no bonus for Champions League qualification planned, as it wasn’t in the predictions!”

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