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Atalanta coach Gasperini defends his players after Spezia stalemate

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini defended his players after their 0-0 draw with Spezia.

Gasperini insists a game after the international break is always difficult for his squad.

He explained, “I always thought international duty was an honour as well as motivation for players. What never happened to me before was that they were away for over a week, arrive on Friday and then we play on Saturday.

“I saw eight players for the first time yesterday and four of them played today. We met at 2pm yesterday, as they arrived the night before at the airport.

“It's not optimal against clubs who do not have that situation, but we can't change it, so we must try to do our best in these circumstances."

Gasperini added: “Atalanta haven't changed their targets, we continue to seek players with prospects for the future. We can't say there was squad rotation today, as it was most of the first choice players.

“I think there has been a distorted communication around Atalanta. There's so much talk of squad rotation, but these are all part of our team and in my view that's not really a thing. There isn't a starting XI and that's it. I choose the best line-up available for the situation at that time."

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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