Mazzarri: “Inter need to be on top of their game”

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APPIANO GENTILE – Walter Mazzarri has emphasised the size of the task awaiting his team when they travel to Torino tomorrow for their first Serie A match of 2014/15. Speaking to the media at a news conference this afternoon, he discussed the threat posed by Giampiero Ventura’s side and said he feels the league will be a lot closer run than last season.

After winning in Europe, you now switch your attentions to Torino, who began their season earlier than Inter and are also playing at home. What do you need to do to get a result there?
“Torino have some very good footballers and an excellent coach. It will be a real test for us and I’m curious to see how the lads do when the first three points are on the line. Things have gone well so far, with our pre-season tour in the States and the play-off against Stjarnan. Now I want to see how my players do tomorrow.”

Barring any last-minute surprises in the transfer market, do you feel this is your team now?
“Yes, I’m happy with the team. The club has done a great job based on my suggestions and working within the limits it set itself. I’m satisfied with what we’re doing together. But then of course squad I have to work with after the transfer window has to be put in the position to be able to perform at their best.”

Looking at what’s happened in Serie A over the summer, do you think there’s been a shift in power?
“I’m only concerned with my team and getting them into shape. Besides the top three from last season, there are other sides who can cause a threat. It will be a more balanced league than last season.”

Will Guarin be named tomorrow’s matchday squad?
“I’ll announce the squad after training this afternoon. Up till now I’ve been focused on the Europa League, now I’ll decide who to pick for the league. I still need to speak to all the players, see who’s in the best shape.”

How do you see the squad compared to last season?
“Those who were here last year came back to the same coach so they knew what I’d ask of them, besides any tactical aspects I mean. That made my job easier. A year ago there were lots of things we had to deal with. This time around we start with the whole picture a lot clearer.”

Is Medel improving?
“Yes, he trained yesterday in a workout that was only for those who didn’t play much on Thursday. He’s made an excellent impression on me, he had one of the best results in the stamina test he did. I’ll make a decision for tomorrow.”

More to follow