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Gasperini: 'Against five subs'

Gian Piero Gasperini is against five substitutions, reveals Josip Ilicic is ‘butchering himself’ in training and declares Atalanta are ‘better’ than Roma.

In the second half of his candid interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, where he revealed he had contracted COVID-19, Gasperini discussed resuming the season behind closed doors.

“They’re hungry, they want to play football,” he told the newspaper.

“Technique is quickly recovered. Playing football is like riding a bike, you don’t forget it.

“We’ve looked fired up in training and we’ve become stronger. We’re ready, we could play tomorrow, but the most positive aspect is spirit: we never came unstuck.

“The club also just wanted to play, even though we had every interest in the table being frozen so we could return to the Champions League.

“Many, however, rowed against football for their own interests, perhaps to write off a bad season. There’s also been too much hatred from other sports.

“I don’t like football without fans either, but it’s the only way to start again. Five substitutions? It’s a bad idea. The game becomes distorted.

“We become like basketball, it’s like being allowed to change your engine midway through the grand prix. It hurts the spectacle.

“After that, who’s the genius that argued it would prevent injuries?”

The coach was then asked about how ageing stars Alejandro Gomez and Ilicic would fare on Atalanta’s return, as well as the threat of Roma catching them in Serie A.

“Gomez can play three games in a row and Ilicic’s decided to butcher himself at Zingonia, but that’s not thanks to me.

“We stopped playing at our best moment, now we have everything to lose since we won’t have fans in the games against our league rivals.

“We’re better than Roma. I’m not looking at them but rather Inter, who are ahead of us in the table.”

Does Gasp think the Dea have a shot at winning the Champions League?

“We won’t win the Champions League, but that’s not for certain…”

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