Mazzarri: “Delighted for Kovacic”

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MILAN – It was the night when 45,660 Nerazzurri fans chose to go to the Meazza on a warm late August evening to watch Inter. They weren’t disappointed. It was the night when Walter Mazzarri asked his team to make sure they got their approach spot on, despite carrying a 3-0 first-leg advantage into the game. He got that, and then some. It was the night when Mateo Kovacic scored his first goal for Inter. And his second and his third. It was also the night when Osvaldo opened his own Nerazzurri account and Icardi added another two to his early season tally, coming off the bench to pick up from where he left off in Iceland.

The result was a 6-0 scoreline that the coach could hardly not be pleased with. After the game, he admitted: “Yes, we did everything right today. We got off to the best start possible when they tried to make it hard for us. Then after the first 20 minutes it was downhill for us.

“I’m delighted for Kovacic, he finally got that goal. We’ve done a lot of work with him. Just look at where he was for the first goal. If he can get into those positions then with his ability he can be decisive.”

Asked about transfers, the Nerazzurri manager replied: “I’ve been working very well with this team since the start of July. It’s a solid group that’s growing all the time. As for the transfer market, that’s something you’ll need to ask the management.

“Ideally you want a squad of 22 players. With all the games we have in Serie A, Europa League and Coppa Italia – competitions we want to do well in – we could be playing twice a week with 11 different players. The better they are, the better for us.”

On the future, Mazzarri said: “Tomorrow we’ll do a recovery session then we have Torino. I’m glad they’re back in Europe as well. It’s good for Italy’s UEFA ranking too.”

Back on tonight’s contest and how his men performed: “The lads deserve to congratulated after that. As I said, I’m so happy for Kovacic. Icardi did well when he came on too, while Hernanes was excellent and the defenders put in a good shift.

“We’re defending well. We’ve only had one bad 45 minutes this summer, in Frankfurt. We conceded some bad goals up there, but it was down to the heavy workload.”

Finally, on the subject of workload: “I did things differently in pre-season this year because I didn’t have all the players at our summer training camp. But Pondrelli and I sat down and planned out personalised programmes for the players.”