Mazzarri: “Just thinking about playing at our best”

APPIANO GENTILE – With all the transfer talk that’s gone on over the past week, the first thing Walter Mazzarri did during his news conference today was to explain what he’s had to do to prepare his men for tomorrow’s match against Juventus, who he described as "a powerful, well-rounded outfit that plays good football. You can do nothing but praise a team like that."

The coach explained: "I’ve tried to isolate the team, get them to think only about the game and I’m happy with what we’ve done. We’ll see tomorrow if we’re capable of producing the sort of performance needed for a match like this. If we do everything the way we should we can give anyone a game. When you’re talking about a single match, you just concentrate on how you’re going to play when the whistle blows."

The Nerazzurri boss then commented on the Bianconeri’s formidable home form: "If Juventus are yet to drop any points in Turin this season it means their stadium is a big help for them: we’ll do well to remember what sort of influence it can have. So far they’ve shown no weaknesses on their own patch… I’m just thinking about playing the best we can. There’s no point making making bold statements before the game."

Mazzarri also offered his thoughts on Inter’s two recent acquisitions, Hernanes and D’Ambrosio. "Hernanes is a player who can play in the hole or further back, anywhere in midfield. He’s a versatile, all-round player who can shoot from range and take a tidy free kick. I think he’s a really useful addition to this team.

"As for D’Ambrosio, I hope he can become an even better footballer by playing in my system. It’s nice to know that he was so determined to come to Inter and that he wanted to come and work with me. You look at the person as well and if it’s the right sort of person then there’s always room for improvement.

"The new ownership sent out a message during the transfer window. We’ve tried to do things that can be useful going forward too. It’s two signings less that we’ll have to make in June. With these new players I think we can do better than what we’ve done so far."

Could the recent signings see Inter play with a different formation? "We started out with a 3-5-1-1 then switched to playing 3-5-2 and 3-4-3. With time these players will have to learn to play with a four-man defence as well. Ideally I’d like to start with a 3-4-3 and change to a 4-3-3, without altering too much and maintaining the same playing system. That’s what I did at Napoli but it was with a group of players who had been with me for a while. We’ll see what we’re able to do here."

While D’Ambrosio is in the squad for tomorrow’s game, it wasn’t possible to complete everything in time for Hernanes to be included. However, Mazzarri explained: "Since we didn’t know about Hernanes until the end, I prepared for the game with the players I had available to make sure that we were ready regardless of whether Hernanes joined us."

Guarin is another player not in the matchday squad and the coach was asked why. He replied: "If the transfer window closes at 23:00 and a player is the subject of transfer rumours right up till the last minute, you can’t expect him to be as focused as you’d want him. I knew that I wouldn’t have called him up."

At that point a journalist enquired why Ranocchia is in the party for Juventus. "I included him because he’s been training regularly and there have been no special circumstances with him. I still have to decide whether to play him or not."

Finally, the Inter boss was asked about his recently released biography and whether the title (The Best is Yet to Come) might be revealing of Inter’s future: "Why not? I didn’t decide when the book would come out but hopefully the title bodes well for us."