Italian club side Atalanta is without their top striker, and coach Gian Piero Gasperini will have to make do without their striker Josip Ilicic for the remaining fixtures of their Champions League games while the coach also disclosed that the team could keep challenging at the top if they are able to improve the squad.
Atalanta without Ilicic
The embattled Slovenian striker has returned to his homeland as he tries to sort his emotion. Futballnews had earlier reported rumors about the striker’s troubled marriage as he found his wife with another man during a visit back home.
Gasperini will have to tweak his team to function without the Slovenian through the remaining fixture.
“Josip is surrounded by a lot of affection; it could have happened to anyone; we are all helping him; we hope that he will come out of this moment.”
“Objectively, it’s difficult for him to return for this Champions League. I hope he will be with us next season.”
While he also praised the performance of Mario Pasalic, Rusland Malinovski, and Muriel in the absence of their top striker.
“His absence has taken away a lot; we dont have a similar alternative. However, we have adapted well with Malinoskyi and Pasalic, or with Muriel. When a player is missing like this, it’s always difficult to replace him. It’s still easier to make up for an absence like this when you play one leg.
The fairytale run continues
Speaking about maintaining the tempo they have set in the 2019/20 season by finishing just five points below eventual Champions Juventus, the coach advised that only quality addition to the club can sustain the momentum.
“We will do everything to improve, but Italian football depends on the economic aspect too. Other clubs have superior resources; our system doesn’t allow clubs like ours to stay high up for a long time. We can be competitive if we can improve the squad.”
Atalanta’s next fixture is against French champions PSG on the 12 of August as they hope to continue their fairytale run in the Champions League, which has seen them overcome great odds to still be in the competition. If they manage to overcome the Parisian club, they will come against either Leipzig or Atletico in a possible semifinal fixture.