Mazzarri: “Tight game, they battened down the hatches”

MILAN – Inter coach Walter Mazzarri spoke to the media after the Catania match. This is what he had to say:

"There are lots of factors that come into play when you evaluate a performance. The lads we have here aren’t used to playing with this sort of pressure. They need support at home: at times it was like we were playing behind closed doors… If you’ve played the game you know the sort of situation I’m talking about. When we put Catania under the cosh, the crowd came alive: that’s what we need all the time.

"Am I worried about our upcoming fixtures? Look at what happened in Genoa: we expressed ourselves freely; today we were more tense. In some ways, with an atmosphere like this, the lads might be able to express themselves better away from home. They’re under a lot of pressure. It’s not about their age, I’m talking about players who are at a club where results are expected. Lots of them weren’t used to trying to reach the top or performing with the pressure they find themselves under here – I’m talking about the Jonathans, the Alvarezs, the Kuzmanovics.

"Milito is a different matter: it’s not easy to get a player back from an injury like the one he had. We needed him to come up with something today, that would have turned things in our favour. You get games that are really tight, against teams that batten down the hatches, when you can only break the deadlock with something a bit special from a special player.

"I’ve never had Icardi available. Botta doesn’t have 90 minutes in him and he too has just come back from a serious injury. In the final minutes today we were playing with four up front, all attack-minded players, worrying perhaps less than we should about defending. This is said to be a transition year, so I ask the Curva and our fans again to give us a hand: we need them.

"Guarin and the fans’ influence on the decision? We didn’t choose not to proceed with the exchange only because of the Curva Nord’s protest. The clubs’ directors considered lots of things and decided not to go ahead with it. We need to try and recreate an atmosphere where everything’s in tune again at home. We’re in a period when we need lots of support."