Stramaccioni interview on 'Radio Anch'io Lo Sport'

MILAN – Andrea Stramaccioni spoke about the Nerazzurri’s derby win yesterday as he gave a phone interview to ‘Radio Anch’io Lo Sport‘.

"It’s a great result of course, even more so when you consider how the game went. Playing the entire second half with 10 men forced us to show the ability and mental strength we have here at Inter and that bodes well for the future because – although there’s lots of work to be done – our character is a huge advantage in what has been a tricky period. Was it a 6-pointer? It would have been had we won normally, but I think it’s worth 3 wins considering how we stood up with 10 men to AC Milan’s attacks on our goal and – in my opinion – suffered less than we perhaps should have."

‘A worker and bright like Mourinho’ is how Massimo Moratti described Stramaccioni. He responded by saying, "I’m very proud of what the president said. I can only smile at the comparison because I’m a nobody while Mourinho has won wherever he’s been."

This Inter side is capable of playing several different systems. "I think we’ve found the best system to cover the pitch, by playing 3 at the back. We can mix things up further forward but I think it’s the defence which gives this team more balance. Obviously with 24-25 top players you can make changes with two games in quick succession, it forces you to make certain choices to find the right side at that moment."

There’s no need to dismiss the ‘youngster’ tag because Stramaccioni – despite only being 36 – already boasts an impressive CV: "It makes sense for a young coach like me – who wasn’t lucky enough to play in Serie A – to try and absorb as much information as possible from all the people I’ve met along the way. Ulivieri, Bruno Conti, Spalletti, wherever I’ve been I’ve always tried to learn, to pinch things I like. You then need to develop these ideas because you can only convince players and get the right results if it’s your own idea and you put it across as such. I feel fortunate because I caught the attention of a club like Inter, first with the youth team, then president Moratti was following the Primavera and appointed me. That’s why I work every day on the training pitch to try and repay his faith in me. I’m happy at the moment but I need to keep my feet on the ground because we still have a long way to go."

Stramaccioni not only talks about football, but also his relationship with people: "When you’re lucky enough to coach a team like Inter you have to keep an eye on every single detail. Perhaps not everyone’s aware of it, but in the defeat to Siena – who were bottom of the league – the fans dedicated a banner to me which they unveiled throughout the second half to let me know they were with me. This struck me because I’ve not yet achieved anything with Inter, so their confidence is built around the forthright manner I’ve always tried to adopt. Winning this derby is the start of me repaying their faith in me."

A listener then asks Stramaccioni to comment on the form and mobility of Fredy Guarin: "He’s an important player, a terrific investment, he’s got strength and quality. He’s definitely not overweight but he’s very well-built, which gives him power. He might look laboured in tight areas but that’s just his natural body shape."

Stramaccioni then explained how a young man of 36 can manage a dressing room full of top players: "There’s no secret. During the one day I had before I took charge of the first team I tried to think of the best way, but I couldn’t come up with anything better than just being myself and trying to show the players that I’m straightforward and direct. They’ve helped me a great deal and if Inter are united today it’s thanks to the professionalism of these players who – aside from being great footballers – are great people.

Stramaccioni is heading to Coverciano, and it seems right to discuss Andrea Ranocchia’s return to the national team set-up. "How much of this is down to me? Nothing, it’s down to him. When I joke with him, I remind him I’m the same coach who didn’t pick him last year and that this season it’s his better brother who’s playing for us!

To finish on a light note, Andrea Stramaccioni joked about Antonio Cassano’s joy at the final whistle: "He wouldn’t leave me alone, he nearly gave me a hernia!"

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