MILAN – There are certain images that make the difference for a coach.
"The joy of Lucio at the end of the game. Someone with a career like he
has, who has won everything, and who celebrates for a victory against the
last-place team. It’s a sign that mentally Inter are doing well…" Andrea
Stramaccioni emphasised the concept in further depth during the post-match
press conference. Among other things he stated: "Since you’re not asking
me I’ll tell you: Ranocchia played a great match. And Cambiasso gave us balance
and quality in a role that Stankovic is more accustomed to."
Speaking to Mediaset, the Nerazzurri coach pointed out: "It was the most
difficult match, the one to get us into contention with the teams vying for
third place, and previously we failed to take full points in Florence. And it
became even more difficult after Cesena’s goal. Do I need to qualify for the
Champions League to stay at Inter? The dream was having been chosen. I’ll
comment on the president’s decisions at the end, which is how it should be. Now
we’ll do well match by match, trying to move forward down this road, always
improving a bit each time. In the first half I saw, for example, the best
quality of play since I’ve been here. Pazzini? He was unlucky. He missed a goal
by a few centimetres, but in the first half he allowed the team to show great
play. The difficulties I’m encountering? I’m a replacement coach. I’ve been
working here for a month. I’m not a magician. I do my part and all the credit
always comes down to the lads and the work. The thing we don’t like is having
let in a goal on a counterattack. It’s something we still need to work on.
Sneijder? A lot of quality, especially in the first half. A bit of bad luck
with his shots, but he gives us unpredictability."
Here are Stramaccioni’s comments to Rai Sport: "We suffered against Cesena
in the same way that Juventus did. They had Mutu and Iaquinta back to face us
in record time. But in the first half I saw the best Inter I’ve seen since I’ve
been in charge, in terms of play and aesthetic value. With consistency, and not
just in fits and starts. For third place we believed before, so why shouldn’t
we believe now? We have a tough fixture list? To date there is no
favourite team. I’ll speak for us; the fact of having tough matches over just a
few days, like Parma and the derby, certainly doesn’t help, but we’re still in
this. I’m not saying we’ll finish in third place; I repeat that we’ll do
everything we can to get there."
Livio Forma, a reporter with Radio Rai, asked the Inter coach what he told the
team at halftime, after having squandered eight clear chances: "I told the
lads that they were playing a great game, that they had to believe even more
and that they had to be even more concrete in front of the goal. Pazzini? I’d
play him again. He was unlucky on a couple of chances but his performance was
positive. You can’t judge a performance for a question of centimetres. Tonight?
I’ll watch the late match because we’ll face Lazio on the final day, but as
soon as tomorrow morning we’ll have our thoughts on Parma; statistically
they’re the most in form team in the league. In this most recent period they’ve
earned as many points as Juventus and ourselves."