PARMA – Easter was the theme as Walter Mazzarri stepped up for his post-match media duties after Inter took three points at the Stadio Tardini.
Is there a piece of European football in the Easter eggs? Could today be the day that Inter pull clear of the chasing pack once and for all? The coach quickly poured cold water on suggestions that a European spot is already in the bag: "We have three tremendous games coming up against Napoli, the derby and Lazio, and then Chievo on the final day – and it’s never easy to take points off teams scrapping at the bottom. We have to keep concentrating on each match as it comes.
"Looking at things on the whole, there have been times when we’ve played better than today and not won the game. That’s football, you get moments when it goes your way and others when it doesn’t. We’re one of the few teams at the top of the table that plays with youngsters in the side. That’s what we’re doing this year, we have to lay the groundwork for next season. Has Thohir sent me a message? That sort of thing is private.
"Parma kept playing with three forwards even when they went a man down and they threw caution to the wind. That’s where I want us to improve. With all that space to play in we need to be a bit cleverer and get the second goal sooner. We have to grow in that sense.
"Mihajlovic’s comments about Icardi? If he says certain things, you have to believe him. Have I ever felt left to deal with him by myself? I’ve never been worried about Mauro. He always works very hard when he trains, although there are lots of things he still has to improve on. I’m happy with him from a professional point of view – I can’t complain about how he works on the pitch. I try not to get involved in things that go on away from the game. I look at the professional footballer who comes through the gates of the training ground. And he’s never been training as well as he is now.
"Is it easier for us away from home? We’ve only lost once recently against Atalanta and it was a bit of a topsy-turvy game, but otherwise our results have been consistent. We’re not so good at holding onto a lead or killing games off.
"Was I scared when Cassano stepped up to take the penalty? Whether or not he’d scored it, we went and created lots of chances straight after that. We had more shots on target than Parma.
"Napoli next – is it a match just like any other? No, it’s not like the others because Napoli are a tough side and we have a difficult fixture list. My only focus now is taking Inter as high as possible.
"Handanovic is very good, he prepares for penalties really thoroughly. He saved loads at Udinese too…
"I’m pleased for Guarin. After what happened at Livorno he deserved this because he’s a smashing lad. Games get decided by individual moments and he was unlucky on that occasion. It did set him back a bit. I hoped he could help us make the points safe today: he did just that and I’m very happy for him."