MILAN – Walter Mazzarri met with the media this afternoon to preview Inter’s Week 27 encounter against Torino at the Stadio Meazza tomorrow, when the club will celebrate its 106th birthday,
He opened his press conference by assessing the threat posed by Giampiero Ventura’s side: "Torino have two very good forwards who are in great form, they play very good football and can cause problems for anyone. We’ll have to be careful to cut off their supply line. I’d like to see us take the game to them and make life tough for them. It’s going to be a difficult game, we must be careful."
The coach then discussed his team selection and answered questions on individual players.
"My starting line-up? I always go with my most in-form players. If those who start tomorrow play well then there’s every chance they will keep their place.
"Icardi has trained well and his fitness is increasing.
"D’Ambrosio? Whether he plays or not also depends on who was playing in his position before he arrived. It’s just a technical choice. When he gets his chance to play I’ll be fully confident because he’ll know everything he needs to know.
"Guarin is immensely talented. I’ve given him some advice to help him reach the top of his game. He mustn’t go missing during the 90 minutes.
"Kovacic’s comments during the week? I watched the whole match when he played for Croatia the other day. I don’t think he meant to say what got reported. I think he meant that he has to improve the defensive side of his game. He believes in what I tell him, I’ve spoken to him about it.
"Alvarez has had a few niggles and he might not make the squad.
"Rolando is the most versatile defender we have. He can adapt to any position, even on the left."
Mazzarri was also asked for his view on the three-match ban handed to Juan Jesus. He said: "We live in a world where there are rules and judges. We’ve learnt from the past that it’s best not to have your say on these matters; you just have to accept the rulings and believe that they’ve been properly considered. I’d rather not go into it any further. Obviously Juan isn’t happy. He was playing well. It’s a shame both for him and for us that he’s unavailable."
Erick Thohir is due at the stadium this afternoon to watch the team training. On his relationship with the president, the coach explained: "It’s the way it should be between a president and a coach. We often speak and when he asks me I explain things to him. The club sets the general guidelines and I ask the president what we’re going to do. It’s a constant exchange of views and ideas.
"We’ve already held several meetings to discuss next season and these last 12 games will be useful to make decisions regarding next year. Depending on what the club wants to achieve we’ll think about what targets to set. In the meantime I want to win tomorrow for him and also for us!"
Finally, on the subject of next season, the Nerazzurri boss commented on the recent announcement that Nemanja Vidic will be joining Inter in the summer: "His career speaks for itself. He’s a great player but I don’t want to say much more at the moment. He’ll be here next season and for the time being I want to focus on the remaining 12 games of this season."