San Siro, the gateway to Europe

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APPIANO GENTILE – Mazzarri is determined. He wants to put in a good performance in the team’s first game of the season at home. He stressed the need not to underestimate the opposition in order to “reach the Europa League group phase and celebrate with the crowd”. He then quoted the immortal words of Giovanni Trapattoni in saying, “Don’t say ‘cat’ until you’ve got it in the bag”.

Walter Mazzarri urged his team to focus as he addressed the media on the eve of Inter’s second leg match against Icelandic side Stjarnan. He spoke alongside Juan Jesus, saying: “There will be a great atmosphere at the stadium tomorrow. We did very well in the first leg but we mustn’t forget that you can take nothing for granted in football. As for tomorrow’s game, I’ve asked the lads to forget that we’re leading from the first leg. I want us to play like Inter so we can celebrate all together after the match.”

Mazzarri then explained what he thinks the fans want to see from his players: “They all want to see heart and soul, a team that never gives up, that keeps going right till the end. The lads need to show that. Ultimately you can win or lose but that’s what the supporters want to see.”

And on his starting line-up tomorrow: “I’ve still got three questions marks which I’ll figure out in the training game this afternoon. Carrizo and Osvaldo will play, the latter to get some competitive minutes under his belt. Nagatomo will also start. On the other flank I’ll pick either Jonathan or D’Ambrosio. Andreolli deserves to start at the back, then I’ll figure out the rest of the side over the next few hours.”

As for the team’s system: “I plan to alternate between three systems this season: the 3-5-1-1 or 3-5-2 that we’re all very familiar with. Then there’s the 3-4-3 which is one of my favourite formations. Plus I like the 4-3-2-1 with different options up front.”

Finally, the coach was asked a question from a Chilean television broadcaster about Gary Medel: “I’ve got to know a lovely bloke. I’m very happy with him, he looks really sharp.” The press conference ended with Mazzarri giving his thoughts on new national team head coach, Antonio Conte: “I’m pleased. I will give him a warm welcome. I’ll do my bit for the national team, just like every coach in Italy should.”