Mazzarri: “Never intended to disrespect Moratti”

APPIANO GENTILE – Nerazzurri coach Walter Mazzarri met with journalists at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti today to discuss tomorrow’s game away at Cesena.

The first question was about Massimo Moratti. “It was nice to hear him say what he did. He understood what I meant and I thank him for that. I can only reiterate that I had no intention of disrespecting him.”

The coach then stressed that, “I’ve always had an excellent relationship with all of the Moratti family. There have never been any problems.”

Anything topic brought up were the remarks made by Juventus president Andrea Agnelli yesterday. Asked to comment on them, Mazzarri replied: “Inter deserves to be respected. The club has already made its point on the matter; I’m just focusing on Cesena.

“I’ve never worried about the game coming after the next one. That’s what you do when you’re a coach. All my energy is put into the team. I have to speak to three or four of the lads today. We must focus entirely our football. What happens at club level is not our concern.”

On last weekend’s draw against Napoli: “I thought there was a good atmosphere against Napoli. We got off to a good start and that triggered the fans’ enthusiasm, which in turn fired the players up more.”

Joel Obi was in the starting line-up last Sunday. “He’s a versatile player and he’s blessed with pace,” Mazzarri explained. “I fielded him in the centre when we were in America, I think he’s suited to playing in a midfield three.”

The manager is doing everything he can to keep his men focused on the task at hand, even with the pressure they have on them. “It’s normal to have pressure at such a big club, where expectations are high. A lot of these guys are new here, we have a new squad and some of them perhaps aren’t used to this kind of pressure.”

Mazzarri feels Inter are on track, despite the recent difficulties: “Our dip in form in the last few games is partly due to the fact that we’re not in fantastic shape fitness-wise. That means we’re not always getting to the ball first, or getting our final ball right.

“In some ways what I saw against Napoli was the sort of football I’m looking for, but a great team understands that you can’t play like that for the whole 90 minutes. It’s something we need to work on – learning when to ease off a bit and play on the break.”

He then commented on Inter’s squad size: “We’ve got the balance right numbers-wise. The problem is that we have seven players out injured at the moment. It’s a period we need to get through by gritting our teeth. We’ve embarked on a new project here and it’s not easy to get the results you want immediately.”

Finally, the coach was quizzed about who could slot into the wide berths tomorrow: “We have Obi, Mbaye and Dodo available for selection.”