GENTILE – He’s already beaten AC
Milan twice with the Primavera and now he’s ready for his
first derby in charge of the first team. Andrea Stramaccioni explained his state of mind in the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s
clash with AC Milan: "Maybe I’m being overly casual but I don’t feel apprehensive about tomorrow. My most nervous moment – the
thing kept me awake at night – came when I was chosen to take over
the first team. The only thing on my mind now is honing every last detail for tomorrow’s match,
figuring out which players are in best shape. I’m focusing everything on
It’s a special game –
special for the Nerazzurri coach and for everyone at Inter: "We’re desperate to get out there and play it, and more than just play it we’re desperate to play well. We were fired up before but even more so now; we’re as fired up as you can get. There’s a special
atmosphere, it’s a different sort of game and you can sense that around the city but also beyond. It’s extremely exciting, especially with
everything there is riding on it. We can’t wait to get out there."
Could this match
determine his future at Inter? "That’s not a question you should be
putting to me. I think my future will be decided based on everything I’ve
done here. This is just one of the games people can judge me and the players on. But it is a game that counts
double and our motivation is off the top of the scale. Not only are we
charged up for Milan, we’re also determined to bounce back from our
defeat to Parma."
The coach was then
asked the same question put to president Moratti earlier in the week: Is
it better to do Juventus a favour, or AC Milan? Stramaccioni smiled before quipping in Milanese dialect, "E’ li stess" [It makes no
difference]…" With another grin: "I’m learning."
Stramaccioni continued: "Wednesday’s defeat hasn’t
taken the wind out of our sails, but you’ll see that for yourselves
tomorrow. I don’t want to say too much. You’ll see on the pitch
tomorrow, from kick-off right up to the final whistle."
The derby could have massive implications for AC Milan
but Stramaccioni feels Inter have even more to lose: "I say this as
respectfully as possible: I’m not interested in what happens to
Milan, whether they win the Scudetto or not. That’s their season. All
I care about is us. We’re playing a team that’s ahead of us in the
table but I know for certain that their squad is not 22 points better
than ours. But the verdict is always given on the pitch. Which player
would I like to take out of their team? I think it’s right that they
should have everyone available, just as I hope to have all of my
players at their best. That way we all get to see the best derby possible."