MILAN – Three points and a sigh of relief following Inter v Palermo: "It’d been a few games since I breathed a sigh of relief," smiled Andrea Stramaccioni.
"At times like this, when we’re not at our best, I enjoyed our performance today, we showed consistency. We gave everything and created some clear-cut chances in the first half, but we faded somewhat in the second. Then of course the goal made everything easier. My team has clearly defined qualities: our system means it’s only our front players who convert chances, we don’t play with wide men and Milito was exhausted today, Palacio’s been playing every game, so… Either way we conceded very little aside from one effort from Ilicic. My forward line was under too much pressure from their back 5 today, Palermo leave very little space when they get everyone behind the ball. Guarin gave me another option, he keeps the ball and as soon as he came on we overloaded them on the right, along with Nagatomo."
The coach was then asked what’s needed for Inter to once again play like they did against Juventus: "I think each player is different, if you play with three forwards on the shoulder against Palermo, they respond by keeping 4 at the back. In a match like today’s I need Palacio and Coutinho to come out of the box, it’s not what was required against Juve. And if it were easy we wouldn’t have waited until the end to seal the three points, would we?"
Stramaccioni was inevitably asked his opinion on Sneijder, particularly with regard to some journalists using the suggestion the Dutchman has been ‘victimised’: "My view – as someone who has only experienced this level of football for a short time – is that we should be careful when using terms such as ‘victimised’. If someone who earns 1,000 euros a month heard us, we’d look a bit silly. It’s my job to decide who’s in the best shape to play and I do so, I make my decisions and I stand by them, so let’s please avoid talking about someone being ‘victimised’. Being coach of Inter involves working on the pitch and away from it, just like any team: it’s my job to pick the best team available, and at the moment I’m not picking him. This has nothing to do with his contract, I have to select the team and Inter come first. It’s not a case of the president telling me not to pick Sneijder, I pick the team. And I think it’s outrageous to suggest Sneijder is being ‘victimised’."