Luciano Spalletti stressed that playing the best teams in the world is a vital part of the development process for his Inter side as he appeared at a press conference on Thursday to look ahead to Friday’s clash with Schalke.
"It’s important for me to be able to observe the players in the biggest games," said the Inter boss. "This is going to be a demanding tour both physically and mentally, but we need to give our all. In a sense it’s good to start with big matches straight away because those are the games we want to be playing. That’s our objective. In the build-up to any match you look at the standard situations, then you go out there to win."
Appearing alongside Spalletti at the news conference was midfielder Roberto Gagliardini, who spoke positively about the training facilities in China.
"It might be a bit hotter than we’re used to in Italy, but we have everything we need to train and are able to prepare for these kinds of matches properly," he said. "We must thank the Chinese fans because we have millions of supporters here and that definitely gives us extra motivation to perform well in these games."
Spalletti echoed Gagliardini’s sentiments for the fans.
"The fact that the players are well known is down to the supporters," he said. "We try to attract new fans through our performances on the pitch and behaviour off it. Inter is a big club because it creates interest in faraway countries like China."
The coach also issued an update on Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.
"Perisic will play because he wasn’t involved in the friendly games in Brunico – he may even play more than the others," said Spalletti. "Icardi is training separately and will continue focusing on his recovery programme. We will keep an eye on when to incorporate him into full training. We don’t want to do anything that risks not having him available for the start of the season."