Serie A TIM

INZAGHI: “IT'S GOING TO BE A DEMANDING MONTH"

Inter are back in Serie A action tomorrow on Friday 25 February at 21:00 when they'll face Genoa in Serie A Matchday 27 of the 2021/22 season. Coach Simone Inzaghi shared his thoughts with the media ahead of the clash at the Ferraris.

Following the defeat to Sassuolo tomorrow's match is all the more important. What kind of game are you expecting?

We'll be facing a team in good shape; while they've drawn their last four matches they've been playing good, full-throttle football. They're a well-drilled team who are fighting for survival. It'll be a tricky game.

This could be a good game for Lautaro Martinez to rediscover his form. Have you spoken about this since the Sassuolo game?

A lot has been said in recent days. Inter have got the best front line in Serie A so there's no issue with our attackers. It would be more problematic if we were struggling to create but on Sunday we made a lot of opportunities; seven or eight clear-cut chances. I'm convinced we'll start scoring again soon.

Partially the reason behind the team slumping over the last month has been the fixture congestion. Are you satisfied with how you've done so far?

I know what was asked of me at the start of the season; we made it back into the Champions League knockout stages, we won the Italian Super Cup. On the way to doing so we've played great and the lads have been incredible. We need a bit of perspective right now; I've seen the club and the team from the inside and the fans were fantastic last Sunday. Perspective is what we're after; as we've always done even in victory we've looked back over games and analysed where we could've done better.

How important is renewing Marcelo Brozovic's contract, for the team right now and for the future? 

We're aware of how important it is to get him tied down, as it was with Nicolo Barella and Lautaro Martinez. I hope Ivan Perisic and Samir Handanovic's contracts are renewed as well. I'm lucky to have sporting directors who are very approachable and who work around the clock to make Inter better and more competitive.

Inter create many chances but are now conceding more compared to the first half of the season. What do you put that down to?

During the mid-point of the season we were less vulnerable in defence, probably because we were mentally less jaded. We've looked back on performances and analysed them and we know that we need to both attack and defend better. We didn't score in the Champions League game which isn't normal for us. We're working hard on our finishing and defending.

Do you think Milan and Napoli are your biggest title rivals and which of them do you fear the most?

We're at a critical point of the season, and while it's not crunch time yet these coming months will be demanding and we need to approach them in the best way possible. I think the title race is wide open and we should include Juventus and Atalanta in the mix; they're a handful of positive results away from being right up there. We need to give our all, both physically and mentally. In recent weeks we've had some absentees due to injury and suspension and I just want all my players to be available so I've got plenty of options with all these games coming up.

The club have reduced ticket prices for the upcoming games. How important will the fans' support be?

It's crucial. The lads in the Curva have been amazing even in defeat on Sunday; they cheered us on right until the bitter end. They're always there for us and we're delighted for that. I think that they're also happy with how we've done as a team so far this campaign. We've been doing well which has boosted our expectations. We're proud and we want to keep heading in the right direction.

How is Robin Gosens doing? Will he feature tomorrow?

He took part in a full training session yesterday. Things are looking really good with him; while he's been out since September he's going to be important to us. We all believe in him. We'll train today and then we'll talk about him after and make a decision. We need to be patient but we're confident things will work out well. We're also waiting on Joaquin Correa and I think he'll be available for the derby. He's a crucial player for us.

If Gosens plays as a left wing-back it could free up Perisic to play in a more advanced role and mix things up a bit?

Perisic is having a great season, always putting in a real shift but offering a lot of quality as well. I fondly remember his goal in Florence and his performance against Lazio. He's doing amazingly in that position but when Correa comes back we'll have all of our forwards available, meaning Perisic may stick to that role which he's doing so well at.

When might Felipe Caicedo get a chance?

He suffered a niggling injury when he joined so he missed out on five or six training sessions. He did well the following week though. I could've used him on Sunday but because of the way the game went I was unable to do so. He's available to us and part of the group and his fitness has improved, so he's another string to our bow.

(Photo LaPresse)

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