SAINT-ETIENNE – Walter Mazzarri addressed the gathered media at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard this afternoon, 24 hours before Inter take on Saint-Etienne in UEFA Europa League Matchday 4.
The coach began by outlining what he expects to see from tomorrow’s opponents.
“I have enormous respect for Saint-Etienne. They’re a tough side to face. They’re well drilled and athletically very strong. We’re well aware just how good a team we’re going to be up against. They also boast some excellent individuals with plenty of pace up front. They play decent football and it won’t be easy.
“Whether it’s in Italy or abroad, when our opponents see the Nerazzurri shirt they give 120%. We have to make sure we’re on top of our game no matter who we’re playing.”
The Nerazzurri know what to expect at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard tomorrow.
“We know we’re heading into a fiery atmosphere. Guarin told us what it’s like. We need to go out there focused on playing our football and concentrate on nothing but the game. Our minds are set on one result only. We may end up coming away with a different one but we never hedge our bets.”
Mazzarri also commented on Inter’s current form: “I’ve already spoken about our recent games. We’re doing well in Europe but we must maintain our stride.”
The Nerazzurri are still in the midst of an injury crisis but there’s light at the end of the tunnel: “We’ve brought three players here with us, Osvaldo, Nagatomo and Guarin. We’ll take a look at Fredy today while the other two are fit enough to make the bench at least. We’re down to the bare bones but that shouldn’t make us think any differently: we’re Inter and when we cross the white line we must always put in 100%.”
The manager was then asked how he reacts to criticism. “I have my own way of dealing with things that I’ve been using for years. I use the father figure method. When we go back over our games there are times when I get very angry and others less so. I’m not put out by the flak. I just focus on what needs to be done and what I need to get across to my players.”
Could we see Icardi and Palacio starting together up front again, after leading the line in all the recent games. “That’s something I need to give a bit of thought to. Guarin is trying to see how he is. I have other things to take into consideration too. It’s hard for me to say today what I’m going to do tomorrow. Unfortunately it’s one thing after another at the moment.”
What about Mateo Kovacic? “He played in the hole against Sampdoria. He needs to get into positions where he can shoot on goal and make the most of his abilities. He’s already come on leaps and bounds in that respect, he just needs to keep it up.”