Semplici: ‘Cagliari believe in safety’

Leonardo Semplici assures Cagliari ‘believe’ they can avoid relegation and hints at changes against leaders Inter.

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The 2-0 home defeat to Verona has made the situation increasingly desperate for the Sardinians, who risk relegation in their Centenary season.

“In a certain way, I did expect to have more of an impact here, although I don’t want to talk too much about what happened before I arrived, as that wouldn’t be fair,” said Semplici in his press conference.

“We run fewer risks in defence now and deserved at least a draw against Verona and Spezia. It does increase your regret when the opposition goalkeeper is considered man of the match.”

Cagliari shot-stopper Alessio Cragno is out after contracting COVID-19 while on international duty with Italy, but Nahitan Nandez is back following a knock to the thigh.

“Nandez trained separately all week, he’s been back in the group since yesterday. Unfortunately, we have lost Alessandro Deiola and he is not available. Guglielmo Vicario has trained well and is ready. Not everyone makes their Serie A debut as goalkeeper in a legendary stadium against the leaders.

“I have some important resources available for the attack and the choice depends on their characteristics as well as recent form.”

There are some reports Semplici will shelve the 3-5-2 for a 4-4-2, which was seen during the second half against Verona.

“We all believe in safety, but we need to do something different and raise the bar. I am the first to blame, as evidently I didn’t drill into the players what they needed to do. We are evaluating 4-4-2, but as a general rule I don’t like changing the basic system.

“Cagliari must be aggressive, willing to sacrifice ourselves and make the most of our strengths. We cannot just wait for our opponents to come forward. I trust we can turn this trend around with good performances.”

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