MILAN – “The nightmare is over, now I hope to get back to full fitness and help my team out. I’d like to thank the fans for the amazing reception they gave me.” An emotional Dejan Stankovic spoke to Inter Channel after making his first appearance since 2 May 2012.
“We have targets, we mustn’t stop trying. What type of squad am I back among? A great group, a bit tired every now and then because we have so many games, but I’ve never seen them get down. As the coach said, we’re not dead and buried. And we’ve added quality with the new signings. ‘Kuz’ is a great acquisition, he’ll get even better, you’ll see. Kovacic? You can tell instantly when someone has big talent; I try to give him a hand, he reminds me of myself when I joined Lazio aged 19.”
MILAN – “I’m happy we won but I’ve still got work to do.” Zdravko Kuzmanovic spoke of his home debut at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
“We’re very happy. I joined two weeks ago, I went on international duty, I’ve not trained a lot with the squad but it went well. I love playing here in Italy, it’s no different to when I played in Florence. It was a tough debut at Siena but today went well and I’m very pleased.”
The new Nerazzurri midfielder was then asked about Antonio Cassano and how Andrea Stramaccioni wants him to play: “I really enjoy playing with him, he’s got great technique. What does the coach ask me to do? He wants me to always sit in front of the defence, that’s what I tried to do. Now we go to Florence? I’m happy, I had some great years there. I like the way ‘Strama’ works, how he sets up the team, he’s helped me a lot.”
MILAN – Javier Zanetti joined Gianluca Pagliuca in second place on the all-time list of Serie A appearances this evening, as he featured for the 596th time. Yet another record for the captain who underlined how “records are even better when they go with a win, like this evening. We all played well and we’re very happy,” he told Inter Channel.
He then spoke of his delight at the return of Dejan Stankovic and Diego Milito: “We’re happy Deki’s back playing, he’s huge for us. Diego is also important, we’ve really felt his absence.”
Finally a word on the Europa League: “It means a lot to all of us, we hope to go all the way, that’s what we’ll try to do.”
MILAN – Andrea Ranocchia, scorer of the Nerazzurri’s second goal, spoke to Inter Channel following the win over Chievo. The defender revealed who his goal was dedicated to: “We’d tried it this morning, Antonio’s got such good feet he can put the ball wherever he wants! I dedicated my goal to Stankovic, I’d thought that if I scored I’d dedicate the goal to him: he’s a friend, we think highly of one another, he helped me last year and I’ve supported him too. I’m happy he’s back.”
“Everyone played well tonight, we were solid and compact. We worked well, let’s keep it that way.”
MILAN – “In the first half we weren’t focused or alert enough when defending set pieces, we were caught out a couple of times, but the lads showed greater concentration after the break and I don’t remember us being in danger.” This was Andrea Stramaccioni‘s initial analysis following his side’s 3-1 win over Chievo.
“I think tonight showed that we’re not dead and buried, we let out the frustration that has been building recently, and we channelled that on the pitch. You saw Inter tonight. We’re a squad, we’re a team, we played like Inter.” The Nerazzurri coach highlighted how pleased he was that his players responded to what he’d asked of them pre-match.
Stramaccioni then added that “it’s hardly surprising that Milito, Cassano and Palacio up front give us incredible quality. They worked very hard, that’s what I’d asked of them and they did so. They each need to put in a shift because the group is the most important thing.”
The coach then had a word for the Interisti: “I’ve got great respect for our supporters who are demanding and ambitious: we are too.
“Deki is more than a player, he’s a legend, a warrior, one of the many great men in this squad,” said Stramaccioni when asked about the reception Dejan Stankovic received as he made his comeback from injury.
Finally the chances of finishing third: “It’s hard to know who to go for, we’ve got two six-pointers against Fiorentina and AC Milan, actually the latter is just a friendly! And we’ve got the Europa League again now, so we’ll focus and see who does the best.”