APPIANO GENTILE – Walter Mazzarri spoke to Inter Channel today ahead of the Nerazzurri’s round of 16 Coppa Italia match with Udinese.
Is it a good thing that you can return to the pitch straight away after losing in the league?
"Yes, and that’s exactly what I’ve said to the lads: let’s not make the same mistakes we made against Lazio because regardless of what happened over the 90 minutes, we didn’t deserve to lose. We need to transform this particular mood in the camp into something positive."
Is the Coppa Italia really a target for Inter?
"I think our specific targets for this year should be what I said the very first day. We need to play every match as if it were a final so that we can grow and become competitive again. It’s great if we win the Coppa Italia but it mustn’t be seen as a specific target. Having said that, we’ll obviously do everything we can to go through. Unfortunately Icardi – since everyone seems to be saying we should play with two strikers – won’t be available because of problems stemming from his operation. I’d just like to point out that I’ve almost never had both strikers – Milito and Icardi – available, so if people who want to criticise they should pay a bit more attention to things like that."
A lot has been said and written over the last 48 hours. Today a comparison was made between Stramaccioni’s Inter from last season and Walter Mazzarr’s Inter this term. How do you see that?
"I hope that the Inter fans – who seem to know their stuff – are not misled when incomplete information is given. I also saw a comparison made between Inter and AC Milan today. If people want to do that, then let”s not forget how many points this team I inherited earned in the second half of last season. You should look at how the season ended and the fact that the players who finished last season then started this season with me. And even then you can’t compare because the team that started last season had four or five different players to the ones I’ve had this year. And of course it’s a totally different season. Last year Milan finished third with the same squad that began this year – they even strengthened during the close season. And at the moment nine points separate us. I don’t really want to get any further into this, I’d just like to say that I saw our season being put on a par with AC Milan’s and I’m don’t think that’s right because there’s a huge difference, even without considering that they’re nine points behind us."
Is this Inter team you’re in charge of the one with most potential for growth compared to previous Inter teams?
"We live in a world where what anyone says goes. I’ve even heard that in some games Inter did nothing but defend and attack on the counter. In fact we’ve done very little counter-attacking; if anything we’ve been caught out on the break. I think we’ll soon see that an approach that’s geared towards taking the game to the opposition can lay the foundations for our future and see an improvement in our game and our results. I can’t say exactly when though, because some very young players have been added to this squad and they need time to develop. But our planning and certain assessments need to be made in that perspective."
We head back to Udine tomorrow. Could Inter’s biggest mistake be to think back to the league win at the Stadio Friuli?
"Right, we mustn’t think about that. It will be tough tomorrow, as it always is at Udine. They have a fine coach and very good players, so we mustn’t take this lightly. Unfortunately we’ll be playing away from our fans and that’s a shame because we could have done with them behind us at the moment."