Mazzarri: Palacio needs to relax

The Argentine is without a goal in eight Serie A appearances so far this season but the Nerazzurri boss believes the striker will break his duck soon if he just calms down

Inter boss Walter Mazzarri believes Rodrigo Palacio needs to relax if the struggling striker is to rediscover his goalscoring touch.

The Argentina international has made eight appearances in Serie A this season – five of which have come as a starter – but he has yet to find the back of the net.

However, even though Palacios squandered a succession of gilt-edged opportunities in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria, Mazzarri feels it is only a matter of time before the 32-year-old breaks his duck.

“When a player finds himself one-on-one with the opposition goalkeeper on two or three occasions it means you’re playing good football,” the Nerazzurri coach reasoned.

“The fact he’s getting into those positions shows he’s got pace and stamina. Perhaps he’s just not quite as clear in his head as he should be.

“I believe that Rodrigo needs to relax and keep playing as he has been doing and the goal will come.”

Mazzarri also argued that Palacio is not the only Inter player suffering a crisis of confidence at th moment, revealing that he is constantly reminding his troops that they play for – and belong at – one of the most famous clubs in the world.

“We’re Inter and we need to think like Inter,” he reasoned. “I’m always telling the lads that.

“But the boys are united and believe in what we’re doing. We’re all pulling in the same direction. That shows we’re working well.

“But we need to take things one game at a time and just think about our next match. We need to perform more consistently and focus on Parma.”

Inter currently sit eighth in the Serie A standings but are just one point behind third-placed Lazio ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Tardini.

The Gialloblu are currently rock bottom but Mazzarri is refusing to underestimate the threat posed by Roberto Donadoni’s team.

“They’re a good side,” the former Napoli coach stated. “It’s never easy when you play away.

“I trust in the progress we’ve made. You always need to respect the opposition.

“But we have to improve in terms of our mentality and play the same football we’ve produced over the last three matches.

“We know Parma are awkward opponents and [Antonio] Cassano is having a great season.”

Parma-Inter Preview: Crunch time as under-fire Mazzarri and Donadoni meet

The Nerazzurri boss remains under pressure despite an upturn in recent results, while his counterpart could be on the brink should his side lose on Saturday

Under-pressure Parma coach Roberto Donadoni faces a potentially decisive clash against Inter at the Stadio Ennio Tardini on Saturday.

Donadoni’s men have slumped to the foot of Serie A after taking just three points from a possible 27 this season, with the former Italy boss reported to be on borrowed time.

After their 3-1 defeat to Sassuolo on Saturday, president Tommaso Ghirardi hinted that Donadoni’s reign could come to an end with further losses against Torino and Inter.

“The next two games will be very important,” explained Ghirardi, with a reversal at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino making this weekend’s fixture even more crucial.

And Parma face an Inter side who are on the up, with a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions underlining their new-found confidence.

However, Donadoni is not concerned by the visit of Walter Mazzarri’s men and believes his squad have the battling capabilities to turn their season around.

“I have guys who are used to fighting and need to deal with this situation,” the 51-year-old told Rao Radio.

“It isn’t easy but character and personality are the attributes we need.”

Mazzarri has also had to deal with speculation around his position lately, amid the furore surrounding the resignation of long-serving honorary president Massimo Moratti last week.

With his departure reported to be linked with his displeasure at Inter’s performances, the club has also had to deal with further controversy surrounding derogatory remarks made by Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero about Inter owner Erick Thohir.

Furthermore, despite having lost just once this month, sections of the home crowd were vocal in their criticism of Inter during their narrow victory against Sampdoria on Wednesday.

But, after seeing Mauro Icardi’s goal ensure a second consecutive league triumph in midweek, Mazzarri declared his pleasure at the squad’s morale and togetherness.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I prefer to let my team and our points tally do the talking,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’re happy with how the lads are playing. This is a united group made up of good men. This team feels truly mine.

“I’m sure the players will continue to do me proud.”

Inter continue to be dogged by injury problems with Fredy Guarin (thigh) and Yuto Nagatomo (calf) likely to miss out, while the game looks set to come too soon for Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (thigh), and Jonathan (calf) is also sidelined.

Cristobal Jorquera remains ruled out for Donadoni’s side with a thigh strain.

Icardi blasts Inter boo boys

The Argentine is upset with the behaviour of some of the club’s fans, saying those that whistle the players do not truly love the Nerazzurri

Mauro Icardi has hit out at Inter supporters who jeered the team during Wednesday’s Serie A victory over Sampdoria.

The striker scored a 90th-minute penalty to secure a 1-0 win for the Nerazzurri, the second match in succession where an Icardi spot-kick proved decisive for Walter Mazzarri’s men, after Sunday’s single-goal success at Cesena.

Some fans voiced their disapproval with Inter’s struggle to break down previously unbeaten Sampdoria with boos and whistles.

Icardi was thus keen to express his gratitude to those who stuck by Inter during the game, but stated that those who whistled the players are not true supporters.

“We don’t feel the criticism,” the 21-year-old attacker told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We go out on to the pitch to win, and we have to continue like this.

“Those who whistle do not love Inter. But there are also those who support us for 90 minutes … those are the real fans.”

Icardi previously played for Sampdoria between 2011 and 2013, but he insisted that the goal against his former side was no more important than any other.

“No [it is no better scoring against Sampdoria], it’s the same as scoring against other teams, although they launched my career,” the Argentine explained.

“It was important for the team, and we continue on the road we started against Cesena.

“We have a game every two days, and we have to work very hard.” 

Icardi has now netted five goals in nine Serie A appearances this term.

Inter must score more, says Mazzarri

The 53-year-old has urged his attackers to step up their game and was unaware of criticism from the fans during the victory over Sampdoria

Inter coach Walter Mazzarri says his side must begin to finish off more of their chances in the wake of their 1-0 win over Sampdoria.

The Giuseppe Meazza outfit missed a number of opportunities before Mauro Icardi eventually found the net from 12 yards in the closing stages of the game to help his team to a vital win.

“We’ve beaten a side that had not lost once this season. The only negative is that we couldn’t take more of our chances,” the Inter coach said at a press conference.

“At the end of the day, we’ve won, but hopefully we’re saving up the goals for the next match.

“I think my team put in a great performance in terms of the football we played. We’re happy with how the lads are playing. This is a united group made up of good men. This team feels truly mine.”

Inter were whistled by some of their fans during half-time, but Mazzarri stressed he did not hear the jeers.

“I didn’t hear them; I went straight into the dressing room so that I could think about how the team was doing and what we should do after the break. That’s why I didn’t hear any whistles.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I prefer to let my team and our points tally do the talking.”

Inter 1-0 Sampdoria: Icardi nets late winner for Nerazzurri

The former Blucerchiati striker converted from the spot with just seconds of normal time remaining, after Zdravko Kuzmanovic had been felled in the box by Alessio Romagnoli

Mauro Icardi converted a last-minute penalty to earn Inter a crucial 1-0 win over Serie A rivals Sampdoria on Wednesday night.

The Nerazzurri looked set to be held at home for the third successive game in all competitions, which would have heaped further pressure on coach Walter Mazzarri, until Zdravko Kuzmanovic was felled by Alessio Romagnoli with just seconds of normal time remaining.

Icardi, who had been repeatedly frustrated by Sergio Romero in the Sampdoria goal, then stepped up to beat his fellow Argentine from 12 yards out to send the Giuseppe Meazza wild.

More to follow …

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