Interim Inter manager spoke to the media ahead of the game agains Sassuolo:
“I wasn’t expecting it. It’s an honour for me to coach Inter. I’m proud to have started here and come back. I thank the club for the faith they’ve shown in me. It’s clearly a big step for my career, but I know what my job is and what the situation is. As in November, it won’t be a problem going back to the Primavera
“The club has asked me to do my best, so that the team ends the season as well as possible and also because we still have an objective to play for. The team has just had a tough period and, as the players themselves admit, there’s been something missing in that time, in addition to bad luck. I’m thinking of the derby in particular. I think that was the game that put the group in real bother.
“It won’t be easy to change things around, because it seems as if the season is petering out in this negative way. But my aim is to make sure the remainder of the season isn’t seen as a lost cause, to bring back that motivation and desire to fight.
“I want the guys to understand that they can still achieve something; we have a target we can reach. Regardless of what other sides do, we have to try and win. I’ve tried to get things in order here and get the team to find the right attitude. I’ve asked the players to solely concentrate on Sunday’s game, to turn things around and finish the season in better form. Given what this team is worth and the quality of player we have, we shouldn’t finish in seventh place. We need to change course, mostly from a psychological perspective.
“Tomorrow I’ll put out the best line-up, but this group needs to show that they can react. In a broad sense, I’ll try and be consistent in my choices – I’d be mad to come in here and try to change everything in three days.
“We need to get things going again, also out of respect for our fans and the passion they show. That’s what brings them to fill the stadium as they will for the umpteenth time tomorrow. Despite what has happened, we still have the attendance record in Serie A. The players need to feed off that.
“Will there be complaints? We have to expect that and it’s right for our fans to criticise us – Inter are a great club and the quality of this team means we cannot accept all these defeats. The fans have always backed the team. We’ll have to be strong tomorrow to show our commitment on the field and get the fans onside. They’ve shown a lot of patience; now we have to keep going.
“I’ve spoken with everyone, and of course with the leaders in the dressing room. I asked Mauro to show the same commitment we saw from him in November, when he showed himself to be a true captain. He’s absolutely crucial to this Inter team.
“Given the situation, [Zinho] Vanheusden and [Andrew] Gravillon will be in the squad for tomorrow. Zinho is a Belgian defender with great potential and is 17. Gravillon has a similar role but different qualities – he’s more physical. He’s in Genoa with the Primavera and will join up with us tomorrow”