Roberto Mancini spoke to the gathered press at the Appiano Gentile in a press conference ahead of the derby della Madonnina tomorrow. Below you can read the
What can Eder give the team? Are you going to play him from the start tomorrow?
“It’s a great chance for him and for us, he could give us a hand but he shouldn’t think that he should change everything from the get go. He needs time to adjust.”
Handanovic said that the team needs to find some consistency. Has the transfer market affected the team?
“January is a special month for everyone, as happens to all teams during a season there are moments when things don’t go well, we’re going through our period now and we hope to come out from it with our heads held up high. We did well to top the league until January 6th, the league is long and you can recover through tranquility and hard work, like we have always done.”
Do you think your statements against your attackers after the match against Carpi will have repercussions?
“No, when I said that I would have scored 50 goals I was only joking, then you all took it as an attack against the players. I haven’t said anything bad, a player knows when he plays poorly or when he needs to do more, nothing offensive about that. We have a great relationship and we tell each other things to our faces.”
What has the team been lacking during this period?
“We have gone through a bad period in matches that we haven’t deserved to lose or draw. We have lost matches in strange ways, a team that is top of the league has never had 2-3 penalty kicks awarded against them at home. Some things haven’t gone well and we have done great things before so luckily we are still in the top, which was the objective from the start. Nothing serious, everyone has chances. Now is a bad moment for us, Napoli and Juventus have had theirs. It’s impossible to have linear progress from start to finish, then we’ve also changed 7-8 players.”
What do you expect tomorrow?
“It’s an important match, not decisive. If we win the team will find their calm despite some difficult weeks. This is the advantage wil playing the derby. In the end it’s only 3 points which could allow us to remain in the top, knowing that Milan are doing better than us in this particular moment. The derby is open to any result.”
Will you play Eder and Icardi with two attacking wingers?
“Everything is there.”
Have you asked for a defender and a midfielder? What will you write in a book titled ‘When we were top of the league’?
“I’m confident, I’m sorry for the lost points. I haven’t asked for anything despite selling 5 players. We signed Eder because we sold Guarin, the others left on loan so we can’t do a lot.”
Do you like to have the reputation that when you want something you get it?
“We signed Eder when we sold Guarin, from that sale we went for Eder. Then we loaned Ranocchia, Dodó and Montoya reducing the squad. Vidic left. We have fewer players now than we had when we started, in theory 5 more players should have arrived [laughs].”
What is your relationship with Thohir?
“Someone wrote that we have problems but that is absolutely not true. He isn’t the kind of person who gets angry if we lose a match like us Italians, maybe he looses some sleep. He knows that we’re on a path that needs time, we’re happy about what we have done until now and our position gives us satisfaction. We are Inter and we have to give our all. Our relationship is great.”
Did you decide to sign an attacker instead of a midfielder? If so why?
“Because I have to think about what’s better. The logical thing would be to sign a midfielder, but it’s true that we have this little problem with scoring goals and we need another option up front. This is why we chose Eder.”
Can Eder play instead of Icardi in his position?
“I think he can play in all roles, he does them all quite well and I think he can help Jovetic, Icardi, Palacio…”
Will beating Milan be enough to create a gap to them and to Roma?
“I don’t know, we have to look to do well and to win thinking about or objectives, not about who’s behind us. We can recover points on those who are ahead of us.”
What is happening to Balotelli?
“I can’t reply to this wuestion because it’s not appropriate for me to reply to it.”
Now that you’ve been here for a year, have you adjusted to the FFP rules or do you regret and msis the times when the sheiks could do what they want?
“City had problems too, they were fined. I’m not always in agreement with FFP, but we’re doing great work. Whoever thinks that 6-10 months is enough to create a competitive squad is mistaken, you need time. But we’re happy with that we have achieved until now, we’re in line with our thoughts from the start of the season.”
Can Gnoukouri find more space now that Guarin has left?
“For a player it’s not easy to not play, he was devastated. But the call up to the first team came when he least expected it, it’s easier to come up than to stay up. But he will have his chances in the future.”
Will Eder start tomorrow?
“I don’t know, he was a bit tired yesterday, he has moved a lot back and forth between Genoa and Milano. We will evaluate him between today and tomorrow.”
What do you think about Banega?
“He is Sevilla player, good, technical, with personality. His contract expires in the end of the year. I like him.”
We say the lack of compactness for the first time against Lazio, the first time when Melo was down. How much has his absence been weighing the team down in terms of personality?
“He has experience, he knows how to handle many situations, sometimes he makes mistakes. However, you can’t think that things have changed because we haven’t gotten the results we want in some matches. The boys know what they have done but they are also aware of the mistakes they have made. But I have nothing to say, no one is perfect and everyoen makes mistakes. It’s enough to understand that and to go back on top.”
In Turin he was mocked by the Juventus fans, how did the fans treat him do you think?
“As long as you joke then that’s fine, the caricatures of the Napoli fans were phenomenal. When I look back at it in a few years time I will think of it as a good thing.”
What has conviced you to play Nagatomo so much recently?
“He is an extraordinary lad, always serious, you can always rely on him and he has great qualities.”
Will he play tomorrow in the derby?
“Nagatomo is doing well and he has the chance to play.”
What do you expect from him?
“That he defends well and that he scored 2-3 goals [laughs]. Just imagine if he does score, they will build a statue of him in Milano.”
What is Eder’s ideal position? Can you play him as a winger in a 4-2-3-1?
“It’s difficult, he can attack as he’s very intelligent. He is perfect in a 4-3-3.”
What do you think about Guarin’s transfer to China?
“I adore Guarin as a person and as a player, he scored in the last derby and I hope he does well in China, he has signed for a good team and I wish him the best in tis new experience.”