Atlético Madrid vs. Udinese  4 - 0

Article

Guidolin out to regain winning feeling

4 November 2011 06:00

Francesco Guidolin will look to revive Udinese's team spirit after a disappointing 4-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League.

Guidolin left out several key players for Thursday's trip to Estadio Vicente Calderon, and his side was comprehensively beaten by their Spanish hosts.

Udinese drop to second place in Group I of the Europa League, level on points with leaders Atletico.

They are also second in Serie A following a strong start to the domestic season.

And Guidolin must now act quickly to prevent his team's worst defeat of the season affecting their early promise.

"We know the group is open, just as it was before, but now we must focus on raising our morale after this heavy defeat," Guidolin said.

"I know that young players need time and they learn by making mistakes. Perhaps we made a few too many tonight and a great team like Atletico punished us for them."

"However, these are things players have to go through, as we need this experience to grow. Our project involves growing youngsters and I was always aware there was the risk of this inexperience leading to an embarrassing defeat."

Veteran captain Antonio Natale was rested with muscle soreness, while midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and defender Mauricio Isla were among other first-team regulars to sit out the Atletico clash.

Guidolin defended his decision to leave out the key men, preferring to take a long-term view of the campaign ahead.

"I take full responsibility for what happened, but if I squeeze the same 10-11 players dry without putting my faith in the rest of the squad, then I don't think we can stay at a certain level over time," he said.

"We have many internationals in the side, so it's very difficult to play the same lads in every fixture."

"Now the group is closing up and clearly I could rotate the squad less in the remaining two matches."

"We cannot afford to step on to the field with arrogance, but I think it was more timidity than arrogance tonight. We have to compliment Atletico Madrid, even if we gave them a helping hand."

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid boss Gregorio Manzano was thrilled with the way his side performed against strong opposition.

"Looking at the end result it would seem that it was an easy match but the truth is it wasn't easy or comfortable for us," he said.

"It was a match against a rival that is now second in the Serie A with incredible players on their side especially in defence."

"The match was not supposed to be easy for us but in the end we did a great job so we got a great result."

Article

Guidolin lays down Udinese challenge

3 November 2011 02:25

Francesco Guidolin wants his Udinese team to prove their worth by securing Europa League progression away to Atletico Madrid.

Udinese have begun strongly at home and abroad this season.

They sit second in Serie A, just one point behind leaders Juventus.

And Guidolin's side top Europa League Group I with seven points, three ahead of second-placed La Liga outfit Atletico.

A win at Estadio Vicente Calderon on Thursday would guarantee Udinese's place in the knockout rounds of the competition, a feat Guidolin is keen to see his team achieve.

"Our pool is one of the toughest of the entire Europa League, and for me even tougher than some of the Champions League groups," he said.

"I will make a lot of changes as we play too often."

"Therefore we have to manage our energy between our commitments."

"(Thursday) the game will be very tough, in a difficult environment and against a strong team, but if we are able to qualify we know it will be a huge achievement."

"That would mean we have kept a balance, letting the new young players settle down easily and successfully."

Guidolin also offered words of support for AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano, who has been sidelined due to an ischaemic stroke.

"We are very affected by what happened to him," Guidolin said.

"The world of football and the world in general is shocked."

"I give my support to him and to all of the people around him who are standing by him in such a difficult moment and we all hope that he'll be able to play again soon."

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 15 +42 39
2 15 +29 35
3 15 +14 32
4 15 +8 30
5 15 +15 28

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
7 15 +6 24
8 15 +8 23
9 15 -2 21
10 15 -4 21
11 15 +2 20