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Gian Piero Gasperini excited as Atalanta reach business end of season

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Apr 2024

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Gian Piero Gasperini is relishing the fact Atalanta have a packed schedule heading into the final months of the season as his side chase success in three competitions.

La Dea can reach the Coppa Italia final with victory over Fiorentina in the semi-finals, while Champions League qualification is within their capabilities as the top four in Serie A is only seven points away, and only Liverpool stand between them and making progress in the Europa League later this month.

First up is Wednesday’s away leg of a Coppa semi match-up which head coach Gasperini is “thrilled” to be involved in.

He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “Going into the end of the season with three goals to chase is really exciting.

“I’m expecting a balanced match, we’ll need to be very focused and trust each other. It’s a thrill to be able to experience this time and I’m very happy to have such a united and high-quality team at my disposal.

“The Coppa Italia is our most realistic target because I never really thought we could compete for the Scudetto with teams that are now chasing about 90 or 100 points. The cup, however, is possible. It’s the fourth semi we’ve reached since I’ve been here.”

Unfortunately for Gasperini, he will observe the match at the Stadio Artemio Franchi from the stands as he serves a touchline ban.

He joked: “It’s a shame, but at least I’ll have a better view.”

Wednesday’s hosts Fiorentina are still in a period of mourning following the death of their general manager Joe Barone last month.

Boss Vincenzo Italiano, who is keen to dismiss speculation suggesting he will leave the Florence club at the end of the season, wants to “throw all the passion” expressed by supporters to the late Barone into their cup tie.

“The future of Fiorentina is far more important than any individual, whether it’s me or the players,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We have to throw all the passion, love and determination that Barone showed us during these years and put those elements into our performances for the rest of the season.

“I am not trying to avoid answering (questions about his future), but I insist we must try to concentrate on these remaining 13 matches this season and keep everyone focused.

“This sort of talk does not help anyone, in my view, it can actually make us lose our concentration.”

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