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Atalanta coach Gasperini: Too much talk about Ilicic

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was keen to duck questions about Josip Ilicic ahead of their clash with Sampdoria.

For defeat to Champions League opponents Real Madrid, Gasperini introduced Ilicic as a substitute and then hauled him off again after making no impact.

“Ilicic has to be in good shape and we can't play him when he's in these conditions. I always hope a player like him can deliver, but I realise now he has to do well in training and complete those sessions in order to get back into the team.

“I do think there is too much talk about Josip, the team doesn't depend entirely on him."

He also said of the 1-0 defeat: “We allowed Real Madrid very little in the circumstances and hoped to bring home the 0-0, even if it wasn't the game we wanted to play. This too is football, it happened against Lazio too, but it's a pity we conceded that late goal. The thing that upset us the most was that it ruined the game, we never really got to play the Champions League Round of 16 with Real Madrid.

“It's a difficult result, but we have time to prepare for the second leg and we'll give it our all."

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