“We knew the strength of this team, including their physical capabilities. Meanwhile, they also have quality in attack: players like Ilicic, Muriel and Gomez almost always make the most of the opportunities they have when they’ve got the chance to shoot at goal. The regret we have is that we didn’t cause a stronger team many problems, as opposed to what we’ve done in the past against other good teams. It’s not a question of absences or anything else, we must show humility in accepting the result by recognising that it didn’t come about because of our absences but because of what we didn’t do on the pitch.
“At the end of the match, we spoke to the referee about something which happened at the end of the first half. But it was only a matter of clearing something up because I like speaking and clarifying things with referees on the pitch so I don’t have to come here and talk about refereeing decisions. Today, Mr Pasqua did well and didn’t have anything to do with the result.
“Atalanta are the team that have scored the most goals in the league, they scored five against Milan before the Christmas break. We must be the first to understand the quality and potential of our team. I am primarily responsible and we’re all disappointed with the loss. With a team like ours, if more than one player plays below the level they’re capable of, something like what happened to day can take place. We struggled because we were up against a fully fit side with players that have allowed Atalanta to reach a high position in the table. They’re a complete side and are demonstrating this in the Champions League too.
“We can’t turn up with a lack of humility and think we’re at the same level as Atalanta because they’re called Atalanta. For us, they need to be an example to aspire to so we can become like them in the future. That said, I am annoyed at today’s game and the five goals we conceded. I would have liked to see more fighting spirit, irrespective of the difference in technical quality. A little bit more sacrifice and determination. We need to keep our feet on the ground and understand what we’re fighting for: next Monday, we’ve got a vital game against Lecce. However, it wasn’t our intention to play like we did today and lose 5-0. Both myself and the players were slightly ashamed when the full-time whistle blew.
“We’d spoken about using Inglese for 20-25 minutes before the game. With the scoreline the way it was, we decided to allow him to get more minutes under his belt. As regards Cornelius, we wanted to avoid setbacks. With Barillà being suspended for Lecce, we were thinking about that game when we brought Kucka off. I explained this to Kuco when he was substituted.”