Udinese manager Igor Tudor has challenged his team to pick up their heads and focused their attention on getting better for the challenges ahead after the Little Zebras were humiliated at Atalanta on Sunday.
A weekend to forget it was for Super Eagles defender Troost-Ekong as his Udine based club were thrashed 7-1 in the Italian Serie A by Atalanta.
William Troost-Ekong played all 90 minutes but could not help 10-man Udinese avoid their worst defeat since the Nigeria international joined them.
Stephano Okaka got the visitors’ noses in front after converting an early chance but a bigger challenge surfaced not long after, following the dismissal of Opoku just past the half hour mark.
3-1 it was at halftime and by the time Muriel had completed his hat trick, two of which were via penalty kicks, Udinese had been totally annihilated by the same team that conceded five goals against Manchester City in midweek.
The Black and Whites had not conceded more than one goal this season since a 3-1 defeat at home to Parma on the first day of September and their Croatian technician has now decided to overlook the blip, telling his men to “turn the page and move on”.
The technician spoke at the end of the defeat against Atalanta to a room of pressmen:
“We have to turn the page and move on.
“Very bad result in a game with two faces, in the first part we did very well then we crashed and ended badly: we have to take on all our responsibilities, I in first and foremost as a coach.
“In the first part I saw the best Udinese in this championship but then they (Atalanta) were very good at reacting and we were much less able to defend, but I still take this game as an episode because I don’t want to diminish the good done so far in defense
“Now let’s cancel this game and think about the next challenge.”
Goalscorer Stephano Okaka was yanked off at half time and a defender was brought in his stead as Igor tried to stem the wave of Atalanta attacks but the decision backfired as the hosts smashed home another four goals in the second half.
Igor Tudor has however admitted that he may have made a mistake by going with that technical choice.
“It (Okaka’s substitution) was a technical choice because we were outnumbered. We tried to play 10 minutes with one man less on the outside but letting a team play like theirs on the flanks risk getting you overwhelmed.
“I thought it was right as a strategy but given the result it was not so. In the second half they proved to be in great shape and, when they are, they put any opponent in trouble, especially with one more man.
“Too bad, now let’s think about Rome,” the coach concluded.