Stramaccioni: "United to rebuild"

ROME – After the Nerazzurri pulled ahead through Milito, Lazio then took over
and Inter left the Stadio Olimpico with a loss. In his post-match comments
Andrea Stramaccioni could not hide the bitter taste in his mouth for what could
have been. The coach spoke to Sky Sport Italia: "It’s really a shame not
to have won today. I think it’s normal to think that way because we played an
excellent first half and gave nothing away to Lazio. We could have ended the
first half with a bigger lead, but once again we were regretting two goals
scored in just a few minutes that changed the game. That being said, I also
want to congratulate Lazio because we played a very strong first half. But we
weren’t able to put away our chances as our opponents did in a good second half."

A sixth-place finish in the standings for Inter means qualification for the
preliminaries of the Europa League, which will see the Nerazzurri back on the
pitch in early August. Stramaccioni stated: "We’ll have to prepare for an
early start, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Inter made it to
Europe after a difficult season. There’s a lot of hunger to start again and
build something important."

With Stankovic, Forlan, Sneijder and Zarate absent "it’s undeniable that
the team on the pitch today was different from the one in the other eight
matches that I had them for, but the team still made its presence felt just the
same," continued the Nerazzurri coach. "In the first half we had four
clear chances. We did very well but I’ll say it again: we weren’t able to
finish the way that Lazio were in the second half. On the first goal we have to
hold up our hands because Kozak scored from the 6-yard box. The second came
from a lovely play from Candreva. So there were two great plays that changed
the game. I don’t believe that Inter were inferior to Lazio today. It didn’t
seem like a comeback based on territorial supremacy. In my opinion, we’ve shown
that we’ve made some improvements, but we can appreciate that for what it is
and move on."

This isn’t the greatest moment for Pazzini, although Stramaccioni reminded
journalists that "he created the second chance for Inter. Although he
didn’t touch the ball it came from his initiative. I don’t think he’s going
through a difficult time. It’s clear that Giampaolo is a bit unlucky because
every time he comes on he nearly scores but doesn’t quite finish."

This is where things begin anew, and it was the coach who stressed: "Inter
are at the halfway point. We’re are all united and the president is already
building a great team to get us back where we belong. Will Stramaccioni still
be on the bench in the future? Ask the president. He’s the one who decides the
when and how of these things. How many reinforcements do we need to build a
great team? I believe it’s important to reflect and try to figure out where we
can improve. We’re not happy with sixth place, and neither are the fans or the
president. But the club is already working to get back to playing a leading
role again."

Speaking to Mediaset Premium, Stramaccioni continued: "Considering the
opponent and the atmosphere, we played a great first half. We didn’t start
badly – and the same goes for the second half – but we have to take the blame
for Lazio’s first goal, and we have to work hard to try and correct these kinds
of situations. Did we make the same kinds of mistakes as we did against Parma?
We’re asking ourselves the same questions, because again tonight we were in
control of the game, save a few minutes of madness; three in Parma and four tonight.
I left out Zarate because he seemed a bit off his game to me; I make my choices
based most of all on what I see during the week. How do you deal with the next
season that will inevitably start soon? It means getting back to work sooner.
But the big difference was between third and fourth place. A few days make no
difference. What we did in these last nine matches is an important base that
we’ll build upon. Do Inter need to be rejuvenated or remodelled? The season is
over now and we’ll take stock of the situation. The Europa League is the
minimum objective, but that’s what we have."

He then spoke to Rai Sport: "I saw a first half that was almost perfect. I
can’t think of any chances Lazio had, but unfortunately they were able to
finish in the second half, which we weren’t able to do in our many chances in
the first half. We have two more negative points to work on. As early as
tomorrow the president and directors will begin working to build a stronger
Inter, even though they’ve been working on that for a while, to tell you the
truth. For the club and its image it was important to qualify for the Europa
League. It wasn’t our main objective, but it’s still something we can build on.
Now we’re halfway there to building a great Inter. The future. It’s one thing to
manage 9 matches, the last 9 of a difficult season, and it’s another thing to
start from the beginning. Wait a bit before judging me. We certainly tried to
win in these 9 matches, as we did against Parma and tonight. And this is a
starting point."

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