Gasperini: "We’re on the right path"

MILAN – "We were up against an
excellent team that are difficult to play against. We gave away very little,
we were concentrated and careful. It’s a pity we couldn’t take
advantage of all the spaces," explained Gian Piero Gasperini after
the 0-0 draw against Roma.

"The draw is a bit misleading: the team deserved to win with that performance. At the moment I need
a team that is more balanced and compact. We had some great chances,"
the coach went on, "not only with the two strikers but on
the right through Nagatomo and we also went close with Lucio. I’m
satisfied."

The coach spoke about
some of the defensive movements and on the last substitution: "The
main defensive task of the strikers was to close down De Rossi. Why
did I bring Muntari on for Forlan? At that point in the game we
needed a midfielder; we needed to be stronger in the middle of the
park. Sneijder had done well there but he was starting to struggle
because he was a bit tired. The same goes for Forlan. After that, once we took
control of the midfield again, we created the best openings of the
game and we were dominating. It was crucial for us to have a strong
midfield that could act as a filter and everyone worked really hard, including Sneijder. We shouldn’t forget that we’re missing some important
players and there’s not much talk of them. If I’d put a striker on
at that point we would have been playing Russian roulette; we would
have stretched ourselves too much."

"Criticism? It doesn’t bother me,"
replied Gasperini, "because it isn’t coming from the president
or the club. I think the team is on the right path now. We’re more
solid, more compact, more balanced. And the shine will come too once we
start hitting form and when a few players have returned. I’m very optimistic.
I think the bedding-in period is over."

"I have the full support of the players," the coach emphasised. "This is a team that was used to playing deep
and hitting on the counter. At the moment we need to focus on
reinforcing the midfield and laying some solid foundations so that we can get
the balance right; we can then build on that with the quality of our
strikers."

Gasperini also spoke about Giampaolo
Pazzini, who remained on the bench against Roma: "I rate Pazzini
a lot and he knows that. I’m sure he’ll get to play lots of games and he’ll
score lots of goals, but in this match, against Roma’s possession
game, I needed strikers with different characteristics. When Inter
have greater possession then Pazzini will be very useful, because
there aren’t many better at doing what he does."

His final remark was about the
Nerazzurri fans: "We’re the ones who have to take a step towards
the fans with our results. Their disappointment is understandable
but we’re confident we’ll soon be at our best."

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