Mancini: Inter training camp not a punishment

The former Manchester City boss stepped up the intensity of the Nerazzurri’s preparations for Sampdoria, but insists it was not a sanction for a lack of form

Roberto Mancini insists a training camp for Inter players this week has not been a punishment for their recent performances.

Inter led the way in Serie A earlier this season but, having won just one of their last seven top-flight fixtures, now find themselves down in fifth.

After Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina – which saw Alex Telles and Geoffrey Kondogbia sent off – left Mancini’s team 12 points off top spot and four adrift of a Champions League qualifying spot, the coach called for an intense week of training.

Double sessions were undertaken on Wednesday and Thursday, and Mancini feels it has had the intended effect.

“We took these few days to stay calm and work without thinking of anything else, and it went well,” he said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Sampdoria.

“The training camp was not about punishing the team. Nobody likes it of course, but you have to do something to try change something so the situation can be fixed.

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“Everyone accepted it and worked well. We need to get back a sense of calmness and awareness.

“This is football, you enter a negative spiral and you come out of it. Then you may find yourself winning five or six in a row, all of a sudden.

“It’s not a physical, technical or tactical issue. Things aren’t going well in spite of playing good games and we must accept that, following the situation closely so we can get ourselves back on our feet.

“We played six games and lost twice, not six times. Unfortunately we had several draws but the points we gathered earlier keep us running for third place.

“The president didn’t panic after the match in Florence and knows we can still get third spot.”

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