Mancini demands strong showing against Real Madrid

Inter were beaten 1-0 by rivals AC Milan on Saturday and their head coach is hoping to see a better standard of football against Rafa Benitez’s side

Roberto Mancini says he hopes to see a strong performance from his Inter side against Real Madrid on Monday in order to reach top form before the Serie A season.

An outrageous volley from Philippe Mexes saw AC Milan beat their city rivals 1-0 on Saturday in the International Champions Cup, with the Nerazzurri having lost by the same scoreline to Bayern Munich earlier in the week.

While he admits the fitness of his squad is paramount during pre-season, Mancini is looking for improvement against Rafa Benitez’s side as they aim to hit the ground running in 2015-16.

“It was difficult to play two games in such a short space of time – that’s why I rotated the side against Milan,” he told reporters in China.

“The most important thing is to avoid injuries. We’ll change again tomorrow and I want to play good football against Real Madrid.

“We haven’t scored yet, but these things can happen. It’s more important to hit form in good time.

“We’ll do everything we can to win, but results are fairly irrelevant at this stage. What counts is how the team works.

“Real Madrid are at a more advanced stage of pre-season training, but it’s always nice to play games like this. We must reach the start of Serie A in the right shape.

“We are very happy to be here and I thank all the fans who are here in China for the affection they’ve shown.”

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