Mazzarri: I made mistakes in Inter selection

The 52-year-old feels he did not pay enough attention to the fitness levels of certain players and believes their 4-1 defeat to Cagliari serves as a lesson to the team

Inter coach Walter Mazzarri has admitted to making mistakes in his selection for his side’s 4-1 defeat to Cagliari on Sunday.

The Milan club went 1-0 behind after Marco Sau’s opener 10 minutes in, before Pablo Osvaldo tied it up eight minutes later. Yuto Nagatomo was dismissed shortly after, though, and an Albin Ekdal hat-trick saw the visitors lead 4-1 at the break.

And Mazzarri says he should have looked more carefully when evaluating the fitness levels of some of his players.

“I made some mistakes when evaluating the squad rotation,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I thought the team was in great shape this week and didn’t pay enough attention to the fitness levels, so I played some players who were on their third or fourth games in a row and that showed.

“Cagliari were good on the ball and we could not keep up our style of football without good fitness levels.

“Of course, once it rains then it pours, as we went down to 10 men. An experienced team would’ve sat back and controlled the situation, waited for the second half and not conceded four in the first half.

“It became impossible to turn it around by that point. It is a lesson, the lads will learn from this and I already said that to the players.”

A mistimed tackle from Nemanja Vidic gave away a penalty to Cagliari, but Andrea Cossu’s effort was saved by Samir Handanovic, and Mazzarri said he should not have included the former Manchester United defender in the starting XI.

“He is probably one of those I used too much,” he added. 

“He’s strong and a leader, so I didn’t want to rest him, but he was fatigued and therefore below par. 

“I take responsibility for that, as I should’ve made more changes and realised there are players who at this moment cannot play three or four times in a row.

“Fatigue has an effect on your physical and psychological performance. Some players weren’t sharp and all it takes is half a metre or your body leaning the wrong way when a player runs at you and there isn’t the strength to make up for it.

“Mind you, some of the players who seemed stranded in the first half were woken up by those four slaps in the face.”

The 52-year-old also believes the game turned on Nagatomo’s red card in the first-half.

“When a coach loses 4-1 and then comments on a red card, then he gets criticised. Of course there are moments in the game that can change it and if we hadn’t gone down to 10 then we wouldn’t have conceded four, but never mind.

“Nagatomo unfortunately made a mistake on the first goal, so he was irritable and in an attempt to make up for it perhaps went into the challenges with too much emphasis.”

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