Udinese vs Sampdoria Preview

Sampdoria coach Delio Rossi is refusing to panic despite a slump in form which has seen the Blucerchiati drop to within six points of the relegation zone.

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Without a win since March 3, Samp have picked up just three points from their past seven games and the spectre of relegation is beginning to loom large for the promoted side ahead of their trip to Udinese tomorrow.

Yet Rossi prefers to think positively and expects his side to bounce back in the final four games of the season.

"You get moments like this during a season," he said. "It's normal, but we are close to our goal, which is safety.

"We just need to keep our calm and know that we are still in control of our own destiny."

A 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina last weekend was the latest sign that Samp appear to have ended their season prematurely.

However, Rossi denies that his players are already relaxing as their first season back in the top flight draws to a close.

"The Viola ran better than us, but not more than us," he said. "It is not a physical question, but a psychological one."

Motivation could be the key tomorrow too with Udinese once again in the hunt for a place in Europe after winning their past four games, earning the respect and recognition of Rossi.

"They are a role model for our football and (coach Francesco) Guidolin is a maestro because his players change every year," he said.

"I think he is exemplary in Italian football and should be emulated."

Udinese are just a point behind fifth-placed Roma and a place in the Europa League next season and that has become their objective for the remaining four games of the season.

"What we all want now is to qualify for the Europa League next season and to dedicate it to our fans," said midfielder Alan on his club's website.

Udinese are without the injured Andrea Lazzari, whose season could well be over, and Emmanuel Badu.

Samp's central defensive pairing of Daniele Gastaldello and Angelo Palombo are both suspended, although they make the trip to Friuli anyway.

"They are our oldest and most charismatic players," said Rossi. "They will come with us because they have a value off the field too."


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