Football: Guidolin plays down Di Natale absence

29 October 2011 05:47

Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin admitted his team may miss talisman Antonio Di Natale against Palermo on Sunday but claimed there is nothing to worry about.

Udinese sit second in Serie A after eight matches and only lost top spot and their unbeaten record in their last outing, a 2-0 defeat at Napoli.

The northerners were without the injured Di Natale for that game and ahead of a clash against a team they beat 7-0 in the second half of last season, Guidolin insists they can cope without him.

Udinese lost key players Alexis Sanchez and Gokhan Inler in the summer and yet they have started far better in this campaign than the last.

"We've been doing well for 15 months. We're not reliant on three players, no matter the situation," said Guidolin.

"Since I've been here we've done well in many situations. There are decisive players, like Toto Di Natale, who didn't train today, but we won't start a beaten team.

"He still has a problem with his leg and I don't know if he'll be available.

"On a mental level we've got over the defeat at Napoli, it wasn't a train crash. We're a team that can lose a game. If we don't play our best, it's difficult for us. We're not Milan, Juventus or Napoli -- we can be beaten."

Udinese are yet to concede a goal at home this season, while Palermo have not found the net on their travels, but visiting coach Devis Mangia is unconcerned.

"On the pitch it's always 11 against 11 with a ball in the middle," he said before pondering how he would stop Di Natale if he plays.

"I don't know the Friuli stadium, I wouldn't know where I could chain him.

"Di Natale is a great player. It's no surprise (Italy coach Cesare) Prandelli is thinking of calling him up."

Source: AFP