Inter coach Frank de Boer held a pressconference ahead of the Nerazzurri’s away trip in the 11th day of the Serie A against Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genova, scheduled to be played at 20:45 CET tomorrow night.
Did you like the display of confidence in you from the club? Are the next three matches fundamental for how the season will pan out?
“All matches are always important, a win gives calm to everyone here at Appiano Gentile, the staff and the players. Reading reports about my departure isn’t nice, it’s very important when Suning clarifies things regarding our project and display confidence in the coach. This way it’s easier to work.”
Why haven’t you been able to recover Kondogbia in the same way that you have been able to deploy Brozovic?
“I treat everyone in the same way. Brozovic gave me the best response that he could have given me. He knows he made a mistake, he apologized and was out of the squad for three weeks. He has trained well, he has understood our expectations regarding his role on the pitch and his behavior has improved. He has understood what I want from him and has returned to the squad. It’s up to the players to capitalize on their chances, everyone is given the same chances and he has understood this. He has played three matches and is improving.”
So Kondogbia is yet to display this reaction?
“No not yet, he’s not feeling well and isn’t available for tomorrow’s match. He’s doing better but still needs to improve.”
The team did well against Torino, so is it easier for you to work in order to change the details that you hope to improve?
“It’s never easy, we need to have continuity. We need the same approach, the same discipline and in this way we can change any details. I don’t want to see only one or two matches where we play this way, already tomorrow I’m expecting the same approach. Then we can talk about changing things. We have seen that we’re not always disciplined and we need to understand why this is. We have to remain united , tomorrow we have another possibility to demonstrate to the fans that we are united.”
What do you think about the fact that several coaches have been named to replace you?
“I don’t think it’s the coaches that say these things but that it’s the agents that make these propositions. It’s normal, in this moment they think that there is an opening for a job for their clients, Inter is a big club. It’s always like this. There’s no point in being preoccupied about these matters, I have to think about improving the team. We have a lot of work to do.”
What do your players need to understand in order to turn the season around?
“Against Torino, after a good result, you can tell the players that playing like this we can win. I saw a united team that worked together. When the players understand this then immediately they begin matches with this approach. It takes time, many players haven’t played before in a 4-3-3 and they need to learn how to. However, they need to know that playing in this way they can improve, they’re still in the learning phase. It’s not enough to do well in only one match. With this philosophy the players will see that they can play well.”
After the match against Atalanta Massimo Moratti said that it’s difficult when the players don’t understand you. Do you get angry when the players don’t give you what you expect of them?
“I was very angry after Bergamo, before the match we spoke about how we needed to play, exactly in the manner we played against Torino. Then our shape was too long on the pitch, some parts of the team were 20 meters apart. On Wednesday we were at most 5-10 meters apart. At half time in Bergamo I told them that we have to do what we spoke about earlier before the match. We saw a very different second half. We have to believe in what we are doing, we have a philosophy that I didn’t see us use against Atalanta. I think the players understood and gave a good reply against Torino.”
Can we expect to see Joao Mario as a playmaker also after Medel returns?
“It’s not his preferred position, he usually plays much further up the pitch. But for me he did well and I don’t think i will change. He liked playing further up, I know this, but he is a great professional and knows that he is needed to help the team, that’s the most important thing.”
Right now, Eder seems to be ahead of Perisic in the pecking order. On what basis do you select which players go out on the pitch?
“What matters is the physical condition, how they work in training, the tactical discipline they show, the opposition. After all these evaluations I decide who to play in order to achieve our goal which is to win. For me tactical discipline is very important from the wingers, and this is the point from which I begin when looking at their roles. Right now, Eder is doing well, when everyone plays in a disciplined manner then selecting becomes very difficult.”
Mr Bolingbroke said yesterday that the winter break will be a turning point. Can we expect to see De Boer’s Inter only after the New Year?
“We can see it already tomorrow, it was close to being displayed against Torino. This is the true De Boer team. In the New Year we will have improved, but already today I’m happy after the last match because it was very clsoe to my philosophy.”
Has Medel’s suspension allowed you to play a central midfield which is closer to your philosophy? Can Medel be used as a defender?
“I want to see these players working together not just for one match, but for several. Not just today, but always. I’m very happy with Medel, he has always given 100% and is very important to the team. The other players have to demonstrate that they too are as important to the team. When you win the midfield battle it means that you can start your attacking some 20 meters further up the pitch.”
If you have to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 based on the work you’ve done so far, what grade would you give yourself?
“I think a 7 because in this moment I can look the players in the eyes and know that we’ve worked very well. We started far from each other and we’ve progressed also internally in the squad with regards to organization. This takes energy, there have been low points but considering where we started we have taken steps forward. I’d say 6,5 with the possibility that it could be a 7.”
Your working methods, who some define as being somewhat of a fundamentalist approach, does it favor specific behavior from the players or is it more random?
“We’ve always had this philosophy, this is a path that we wish to walk until the end, this is our goal. In this time some things must change but the path remains. It’s not always straightforward, sometimes you must take aturn to the right, sometimes you stop. The philosophy hasn’t changed and I’m sure that at the end of the road the results will come.”