APPIANO GENTILE – Inter are set for their first home game of 2015 – against Genoa tomorrow – after a busy week which saw them pick up at point at Juventus Stadium, bring in two new signings and lose a number of players to suspension.
Roberto Mancini met with the media today ahead of tomorrow’s 12:30 kick-off to discuss the match and a number of other topics.
He began: “Our aim must be to keep improving as a team and play well while maintaining our focus and making as few mistakes as possible.”
The coach remains upbeat despite having to contend with the suspension of a number of players: “Whoever I pick will perform well and have the chance to show that he deserves a place in the team.”
Mancini then commented on tomorrow’s opponents: “Genoa are a difficilt team because they have lots of pace and skill. It won’t be at all easy and we’ll need to produce a top performance to beat them.”
On the chance of seeing Shaqiri on the pitch tomorrow: “He hasn’t played since 19 December so I don’t think he’s ready. We don’t want to risk him getting injured.”
“Vidic isn’t 100% because he hasn’t played for a month but he’s got bags of experience and knows exactly how to handle himself.
“Osvaldo and Icardi? I don’t want to go back over that again.
“Palacio is an important player for us. He’s looking better by the day but of course his ankle does hold him back a bit.”
The Ballon’ d’Or winner is set to be announced in a few days’ time and the manager was asked who he would hand it to. “I think Neuer deserves it because he’s more than just a goalkeeper.”
He also responded to why he sometimes gives notes to his players during games. “In can be difficult to make yourself heard in England and Istanbul and it’s just easier with a piece of paper.”
With the transfer window now in full swing, Mancini fielded a number of questions about the club’s dealings. He said: “There’s plenty of time for talks to take place. We’re focused on tomorrow at the moment because we have an important match to play. The club is doing everything it can and we’ve brought in Podolski and Shaqiri. We’ll see if we’re able to do anything else.
“How did I convince them to join Inter? I spoke to them and told them that there are few clubs in the world like Inter. I believe they can help bring us success again.”
On possible further signings, the coach continued: “Mario Suarez? He’s an excellent midfielder.
“Could something else happen in attack or defence? Up front we’re fine as we are because we have Bonazzoli and Puscas as well. I also think Shaqiri can operate as a second striker.
“At the back, Juan Jesus’ four-match ban could be a problem. We’ll see if anything comes up.”