APPIANO GENTILE – On 25 March earlier this year, while Juventus were hosting Inter, Andrea Stramaccioni was busy winning the NextGen Series with the Primavera at London’s Brisbane Road. Tomorrow though, he’ll be in charge of the Nerazzurri at Juventus Stadium: "It’s only the 11th game of the season, I think we should bear that in mind and – I’ve said this to everyone – regardless of what the result is tomorrow, we’ll still have only played 11 matches and Inter will still have 20, 30, let’s hope 40, including the Europa League, games to play. It is of course an important match but it’s too early on for tomorrow’s result to change our season. I believe tomorrow’s result will have more of an impact in the media than anywhere else. You might get a good result only to then spoil it later on, or get a bad result, which will not decide your season."
Stramaccioni then spoke about how Inter come into this meeting with the Bianconeri: "We’re doing well, we’re on a good run, we’ve come on a lot mentally and this has helped us to achieve the results we have so far. They’ve given us more self-confidence and belief in our ability. We’re on good form and have everything we need to compete. I expect a high-quality game of football between two sides which the table proves are ahead of the pack. For them it’s a chance to stretch their lead, while for us it’s an opportunity to see how far we’ve come over the last two months."
Stramaccioni was adamant he wouldn’t take a draw before the start of play: "I say that honestly because we’re Inter and that’s what I believe. In the short time I’ve been in charge, never once have I gone into a match thinking about anything other than winning. Having said that, we’re playing a great team, the Italian champions."
"He’s the best of their 10 outfield players at building the play," continued the Nerazzurri coach when asked whether he might consider man-marking Andrea Pirlo. "He’s the playmaker both for Juventus and the national team, I think it makes sense to pay greater care to him to make it more difficult for him to set the tempo."
Someone then tried to tell Stramaccioni that Mourinho used to announce his starting line-up early ahead of big games. Stramaccioni played it with a straight bat, put a hand to his forehead and said: "I’m really undecided, here’s another example of the big difference between me and José."
You can shortly read more of what the coach had to say on the eve of Juventus v Inter.