UDINE – After the match at the Stadio Friuli,
the Inter coach answered questions from journalists.
Here are his statements:
"A delayed reaction? We played a great
second half and it was all one-way traffic. We’re still a work in progress. We
suffered in the first half because we were bewildered by Udinese’s high-speed
play. Today I finally saw Milito on the pitch for 90 minutes. The result is
less that we deserved. Now we’ll focus on the league with Milito back 100%.
"In the first half we started a bit tense.
We had players on the pitch who hadn’t played much together, but I made some
choices that fit. It’s a bit of an off moment for us, but I have to praise
everyone for the second half. Today it was clear that the ball just wasn’t
going to go in. That’s football. Getting Milito back was really the good news
this evening. I’m convinced the results will start coming on the pitch. We have
to try and play a strong game against Chievo. We need it to turn things around.
"The club and I were both mutually clear
right from the beginning. We need to do many things this season, and right now
we’re doing them the best we can. You have to test out players in the Coppa
Italia who don’t get used as much. We’re doing well in the league this season
when considering everything that happened last year and what was said last
summer. We need to move forward and build.
"I don’t need to convince Inter fans the
season is a positive one. I’m talking about reality here. We hadn’t been eliminated
in the round of 16 since 2002? Just think that 14 years had passed since Inter
last failed to qualify for Europe; it speaks volumes on what this club is going
through right now. It’s no coincidence there’s also been a change in ownership
after so many years. A rebuilding year; call it what you like. Everyone
understands very well what we’re going through. This team has an identity, a
soul. And obviously you can’t do it all in one year.
"This year we have 8 players with expiring
contracts, which says a lot about the rejuvenation project. They got me from
Napoli because they know what I did there, taking a team from the bottom of the
standings to seventh place. And you all know how it went from there. We expect
to climb as high as we can doing what we’re doing.
"Guarantees? I arrived in June and it was
said we’d have to assess the current Inter squad. I did so and tried to
re-evaluate it. Now we’re ‘skimming’ it, but overall the club made a conscious
choice with me in mind; a coach who can evaluate a squad and organise a plan to
take it back to the top. Today I had to do some tests specifically to make an
evaluation of the squad. Besides, we had won the derby before the Lazio game.
It seems as if everyone has forgotten that… It’s not that long ago since we won our last game.
"Qualifying for the Europa League? I don’t
place limits for myself, and people who know me know that. I send the players
out there with the desire to win everything. Napoli set out every season
without making many proclamations, then ended up qualifying for Europe each
time. That could easily happen here too.
"By now the penalties have become a joke.
I’ve calmly discussed it for seventeen games now. Today there were three. But
now enough. Starting with the next match I’m no longer going to get into the
refereeing topic until the season is over. That way no one will be able to say
Mazzarri always complains about the referees. You saw what happened today in
our 17th game, with the quarter-finals at stake. I’m no longer going to say
another lad we’ll try to evaluate. He’s trained well despite coming off of an
injury. He got involved in the match immediately, and we signed him because he
has important qualities. He’s come back from a difficult injury, but he’s
recovering well. I’m happy for his debut, and he responded well from what I