Jovetic: Inter will return to Champions League

The San Siro side are without European football this season, but their new signing insists it will be a one off as he expects a strong campaign for Roberto Mancini’s men

Stevan Jovetic is confident Inter can end their exile from the Champions League by sealing a top-three finish in Serie A this season. 

The three-time champions of Europe have not participated in club football’s elite competition since the 2011-12 campaign, when Marseille knocked them out in the last 16.

League finishes of sixth, ninth, fifth and eighth over the last four Serie A seasons have signalled a power shift in Italy, with Juventus replacing Inter as the dominant force, and striker Jovetic, who joined this summer from Manchester City, has been recruited by Roberto Mancini to help revive the club. 

“I think we can achieve a third-placed finish,” said Jovetic, who joined from Manchester City last month. 

“There are lots of good sides in the league but we have a strong team.

“There’s always pressure in football. I’ve felt it everywhere I’ve played, but I just focus on performing well. I’d say that it adds extra motivation.

“Despite my difficulties in England it was a very important experience and I’ve come back more mature. I had a couple of injuries at the start, and then when I did play well I’d always be subbed off.

“When I was left off the squad list for the Champions League I knew it was time to change clubs.”

Jovetic’s claim is likely to raise a few eyebrows given that Inter have endured a tough pre-season campaign, suffering defeats against Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Galatasaray, as well as a goalless draw with AEK Athens. 

Mancini’s men failed to score during those five games, but Jovetic – who netted in a 2-0 friendly win over Athletic Bilbao in Parma – is unconcerned. 

He said: “We’ve trained well and the friendlies have really helped, despite the results. We’re ready.”

On joining Inter, he added: “I’ve spoken with Roberto Mancini. I can play in a few positions and have felt good where I’ve played thus far.

“I don’t want to set a target doe how many, but I’m sure I’ll provide lots of goals and assists.” 

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