Poli: "Pace and a high tempo… but in spells"

FLORENCE – After playing the full 90 minutes against Fiorentina and showing plenty of character, Andrea Poli gave his thoughts about the match, starting with some tactical considerations: "Playing with two or three in midfield doesn’t change anything. There were moments when we were able to play at pace and with a high tempo, and others when we did that less. Fiorentina put out a very defensive formation and they broke quickly. It’s not easy to play against teams like that."

On the immediate future, Poli said that "Inter are trying to attack and we want that third spot. We might play differently against Udinese because not everyone will be available but it’s up to the coach to decide."

Zanetti: "A strange game with few chances"

FLORENCE – Javier Zanetti spoke to Inter Channel after the Fiorentina game and the first concern was finding out how the captain was after being replaced at half time: “I felt a twinge at the back of my left leg,” he explained. “I had a little problem with my Achilles during the week and maybe, trying to compensate, I put a bit more weight on that area. We’ll see, I’ll have a scan and hopefully it will be alright. I’ll do everything I can to be available for Wednesday.”

The captain then commented on the match itself: “It was a strange game because there weren’t many chances for either side. It was very tight: our opponents tried to use the pace of their forwards on the break and they defended well. We managed to do a bit more in the second half but it wasn’t enough. Julio did very well to save the penalty and make sure we leave with at least a point. We came here looking for three but we didn’t manage it and now we’ll focus on Udinese. It won’t be easy to get a result at the Friuli because they are formidable at home but we’ll try.”

Nagatomo: "A shame but thanks Julio Cesar"

FLORENCE – Yuto Nagatomo came out after the interval in place of Javier Zanetti and went on to impress in the second half against Fiorentina with his pace and well-timed runs. “It’s a shame we couldn’t win today because we managed to create a few chances to take the lead. It wasn’t an easy game: our opponents were well set out on the pitch. I want to congratulate Julio Cesar because even though he was the one who gave away the penalty he was still calm enough to focus and make that save that kept us in the game.”

Stramaccioni: "We’ll keep battling"

It’s hard not to feel disappointed after this draw against
Fiorentina. You could see it on the face of Andrea Stramaccioni
as he gave his post-match interviews and he admitted as much during his analysis of the game: “Well done to Fiorentina
but it’s regrettable for us. The result can be credited to our
opponents for the most part: they did very well when chasing the ball and it
was a small step backwards for us in terms of our own possession game.
It wasn’t easy to play against this team. We had a game
plan to cause them problems but we were only able to put it into practice for
short spells. What we had prepared wasn’t totally reproduced on the
pitch, but I’d play this match the same way again. When Fiorentina
started playing with five at the back – because they
played with a five-man defensive line – I tried to put out all the players we had who
could trouble them, and we tried to make things happen on the wings.
At times we did that, at others we didn’t. We did well two
against one when we arrived at pace. When we succeeded in moving the
ball around we looked dangerous; when we didn’t, things were more sluggish.”

then spoke about the specific tasks he gave to his players: “I asked Poli and
Cambiasso to pull the strings from deep – which is what Stankovic did in the other games.
Sneijder gave us more dribbling potential. Forlan? If I picked him it’s because
I felt it was the right choice, and I’d do it again. But these are the
first games that Inter are playing this way, it takes time… Still, what
pleased me was that Inter came here with a clear imprint – the
imprint of a team that plays to win and is set up to

So what
does today’s point mean in terms of the league table? The coach explained: “We’re taking
it one game at a time. Inter aren’t easing up and we won’t until the
end: we’ll keep battling until we’re out of it mathematically. I’m
not promising the fans anything – they deserve to see action and not
words – but Inter believe in third place and we’ll keep believing
until the last breath. And I’m saying that even after a draw which we
hoped would be a win. I realise it’s two points dropped in the race
for third but, as I said, as long as it’s mathematically possible I’ll
keep believing. Now we have a crunch game against Udinese, a
direct rival, on a day when there will be other teams around us
playing each other. We’ll do everything we can to stay in
the running right up to the last game of the season. I bear witness
to the belief in our dressing room and that belief will be there until
the end.”

The Nerazzurri coach was also asked to
comment on Pazzini’s non-appearance after Chivu’s injury meant the final substitution was a defensive one: “Was
Pazzini annoyed? I was annoyed too because I wanted him to help us out in
attack for the last part of the game. But Chivu got injured in a
challange and unfortunately two of my three substitutions were forced
on me. We’ll assess Chivu and Zanetti tomorrow. I spoke with doctor
Combi about Pupi during the interval and we decided not to risk him. Chivu’s looks more serious”


Branca: "We’re all happy with Stramaccioni"

FLORENCE – Inter technical director Marco Branca was
interviewed by Sky Italia before this afternoon’s match between Fiorentina and
Inter at the Stadio Franchi. One of the topics he was quizzed on was
the chance of seeing certain ex-Nerazzurri players wearing Inter’s
colours again. "I can start by saying that the names you have given me are
players who have proven their talent both before and after leaving
this club, and if they left it had nothing to do with their ability
but was for other reasons. We know very well how good those players you
mentioned are but there were other reasons for their departure."

The Nerazzurri technical director also spoke about
Andrea Stramaccioni: "We are all really happy with
Stramaccioni; besides bringing in enthusiasm and shaking things
up, he’s also shown considerable talent. Everyone is satisfied with him."

Branca was also asked to comment on remarks made by Sulley Muntari in a recent
interview: "I don’t see myself in his words and
nor do the others who know me see any truth in them. I thought the interview was done in poor taste. I have a positive opinion of Muntari, he’s a
decent and generous person and I wish him all the best of luck. But you can’t spend your life denying things. There’s work to be
done and my professional dignity has always prompted me to be fair to everyone."