After a flying start to the Serie A season, Atalanta has hit a rough patch and coach Gian Piero Gasperini has conceded it risks losing more points as he tries to phase in the players signed during the transfer window.
Gasperini's side is one of the most stable in Italy, with few changes over the last three seasons, but has brought in reinforcements to help itself face a relentless fixture list of Serie A and Champions League matches.
The new signings include Russian international midfielder Aleksei Miranchuk, Colombian defender Johan Mojica, Dutch forward Sam Lammers and Argentine defender Cristian Romero.
Gasperini, who has turned Atalanta into the most entertaining side in Serie A despite limited resources, now has to get them settled without disrupting his team's fluid style -- which is already proving a challenge.
After winning its first three Serie A games and blasting 13 goals, Atalanta has lost its last two including last Saturday's match at home to Sampdoria when Gasperini made seven changes to his starting line-up.
“I did too many experiments and the team was a sort of construction site,” he said after the 3-1 defeat.
“We need to get the new players settled as soon as possible, but, on the other hand, we must balance it with not performing too many experiments when we need to get points in the early rounds of the season.”
Atalanta, which has nine points, has finished fourth and third the last two seasons but there are always doubts as to how long it can keep it up.
It visits promoted Crotone on Saturday and Gasperini is expecting another rough ride against a team that held champion Juventus 1-1 two weeks ago.
“It was a good start to the season with three consecutive victories, but we probably need to go through some steps before we find the definitive shape. Its tough in Serie A, as if you are not at your best, its difficult to get a result against any opponent,” he said.
“With so many matches to play in three competitions, we have to get the new boys settled otherwise there simply arent enough of us. It might take a few months and this is probably why Atalanta tend to do better in the second half of the season.”
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