APPIANO GENTILE – Having reached the midway point of the Serie A season, Walter Mazzarri took stock of Inter’s first 19 games during a news conference this afternoon.
The Nerazzurri boss began: "The draws with Sampdoria and Parma were fair because we didn’t play the football I like, but there were other games we should have won. We’ve only lost three times, they were three particular games and we know what influenced two of them… Yet even in defeat we held our own. Overall I think we can say it’s been a good first half and if we’d had six points more we could have called it excellent."
What’s the knock-on effect when you lose a game you feel you didn’t deserve to? "It’s like anything that you think you deserve but aren’t able to get… We have to try to use the anger to help us overcome the next opponent."
What difference would it have made to the season if you’d had 38 points? "Six points do make a difference. In any case, we’re just thinking about getting on with our game now."
Speaking ahead of the Nerazzurri’s visit to Genoa, Mazzarri went on to analyse the situations of Diego Milito and Mateo Kovacic.
"Milito is much better now. We’ll decide whether it’s better to start with him or bring him off the bench. We’ll see after I’ve had a chat with him.
"Kovacic has looked a much-improved player recently, but he does need to work on the defensive side of his game.
"Generally speaking, I think some of the lads have regained a bit of sharpness and hopefully they’ll all be better and sharper tomorrow. Genoa are a decent side and it’s going to be a tricky match."
What about Inter’s targets? "The players and I haven’t set ourselves any targets. I’m just thinking about producing our best in each match. We’re going to Genoa to play our game, to stay switched on defensively and try to score. I don’t know how this season will end. All I know is that you have to think you can win every time you take to the field."
Asked to comment on statements made by Gian Piero Gasperini, the coach explained first that, "it’s not true that Inter don’t try to play a team game," and then, "Inter’s history has to be defended and respected. Even when I had no connections here, I always considered Inter to be a successful club. Its history is right there before everyone’s eyes."
Is the coach considering a change of formation? "When other teams start to get to know you, you need to change things around and it’s up to the coach to come up with solutions."
Finally, there was a question about Andrea Ranocchia, a player who has been linked with a move away: could the transfer talk affect his performances? The Nerazzurri tactician replied: "I weigh everything up. I can tell you that Andrea is a consummate professional who always gives his all on the training pitch. But only he knows what he’s thinking inside he’s head."