Following Tuesday’s TIM Cup encounter against Pordenone, Inter will now be back in action on Saturday for their week 17 Serie A TIM fixture against Udinese. Luciano Spalletti today held his pre-match press conference at the Suning Training Centre: “I know Massimo Oddo well, he is a great coach. Udinese are dangerous because they are a strong side. You can already see the impact that the new coach is having. They are a tough team to face, especially from a physical point of view. This match will have many potential pitfalls. I worked a lot with Pozzo, the Udinese squad is always made up of quality players and we’ll need to pay maximum attention out on the pitch. Following the 120 minutes against Pordenone, the players have recovered well and they are all ready to play once again.”
Spalletti then had this to say about Tuesday’s TIM Cup fixture: “We were not lacking motivation against Pordenone but rather our shape. I also made a mistake with my choices. I should not have made eight changes to the starting XI. I did not fully take into account the players who’ve not played that much up until today. In the second half, we wasted too many chances in front of goal. The match was tricky but we kept our cool during penalties.”
Switching his focus back to the league, Spalletti added: “Inter as the winter champions? We must keep going. The leading teams have been there since the start. This first stage of the season was a sprint. As I often say, we must keep running with relentless desire. We must never underestimate the matches, we must not fall back.”
The crowd at the San Siro will tomorrow give a motivational lift to the squad: “It is great to see all these fans at the stadium. It should always be like this, everywhere. I think that it is a good thing to see an important team like Inter returning back to the top. Fuller stadiums add value to our league. It is always great to see so many fans at the stadium.”
As for individuals and tactics, the Nerazzurri coach said: “As for whether we should be more offensive, we must never lose our shape when out on the pitch. Borja Valero is a player that knows how to keep a team together. He knows how to do it all and he is a very important player for us. Nagatomo? He is a player who we all respect and he always puts the team first, as shown against Pordenone. He always trains in a wonderful manner. Karamoh and Pinamonti? I congratulated them after their involvement in the TIM Cup game. They displayed the right attitude out on the pitch. They must keep working hard without losing awareness of their ability. The only unavailable player is Joao Mario due to tonsillitis".
Spalletti was also quizzed upon Inter’s plans for the transfer market: “We must be careful. Creating expectations that are too high is not fair to the fans or to the players, but especially it's not good for Inter's results. We need to respect the players that we have here, who’ve taken us the top of the league standings.”