Juventus boss Gigi Delneri returns to Sampdoria on Sunday for the first time since taking the reins at the Turin giants in May.
After leading Sampdoria to a fourth-placed finish last season and into the qualifying rounds of the Champions League, the 60-year-old was looking for a new challenge with Juventus, who finished a disappointing seventh in 2009/10.
When asked what type of reception he expected from the supporters at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Delneri was not sure how he would be received.
“What reaction do I expect from the fans? Recognition, the same as I feel for the supporters. I don’t think Sampdoria miss me or (former striker, now at AC Milan) Antonio Cassano and every season is its own story,” Delneri said.
“Besides, it is always exciting for them to take on Juve, regardless of who is on the bench. We had an extraordinary year together that culminated in the Champions League, thanks also to the fantastic atmosphere around the club.”
Delneri downplayed talks of a Serie A title challenge, with his side sitting in sixth position, seven points behind league leaders AC Milan.
“Let’s go easy on talk of the title. I think Juve must always fight to get the best and will improve when we get everyone back from injury,” he said.
Brazilian striker Amauri is back in the side after fracturing his nose, and Delneri has not ruled out a move for Sampdoria front man Giampaolo Pazzini.
“Both strikers are very talented. Pazzini has played more often than Amauri this year, which is why he has scored more goals,” he said.
“As for other signings, for now we have brought in Luca Toni and will see what else happens. It is a tough moment for the club and we’re trying to improve the squad, but know it is not easy.”
“We’re keeping our eyes open to check out any bargains, but unfortunately at times we want players beyond our budget.”