Walter Mazzarri answered questions from the media ahead of Inter’s Serie A fixture against the Flying Donkeys of Chievo at the Giuseppe Meazza in San Siro, set to kick-off at 21.00 CET. Below you can read the entire press-conference in English only here at

Good morning, two missteps so far this year. What will you do to change this?

“We hope to turn things around immediately, it’s the results that count. Tomorrow we have to play at our best, we have to be able to play our game on the pitch, be careful in defence, tomorrow we have to do all these things on the pitch and hope that things go our way.”

How important is the club’s presence?

“I don’t say things that I’m not sure about. There were messages that I was sure about, we have all the same ideas at all levels in the club. I’m calm and I don’t say things just for the sake of saying them. We are all united which is something you could all see when Moratti was here and also through Thohir’s message. This year we’re doing a lot of things, this is the first transfer market and the club is trying to make it’s first purchases. But I ask of you, lets not talk about the transfer market, let’s talk about Chievo. I don’t want to distract those who are working on the transfer market.”

What do you think about what we’ve read about this morning the lack of information regarding the sale of the club?

“It’s true that when I came here I didn’t expect the club to be sold, up until it became official I tried to keep everyone concentrated and keep them away from these things. I’m a person who always goes and looks for special situations, which are also very difficult, and here at Inter I found it all, but the job that has been done has been very good despite the obstacles encountered.”

You said that Kovacic needs to mature. How are things with him now? What is lacking?

“In Udine he did some things that were very good and some that were less good. He needs to improve, both in the active as well as the passive phase of the game, but he has age on his side and his development is normal. In the end, what’s fundamental is quality. In the modern era certain players have to understand that they are needed in defense as well, the balance in a team is fundamentally important. This is also confirmed by the fact that this year is all about growing, even for Taider, and all the other young players. I don’t know when we’ll be competitive again, these things can’t have an exact time frame. Allegri? He was also asked a question to which he answered really well: when it comes to confrontations I always avoid them, I’m not interested in confrontations, I’m only interested in defending our team. This is a defense not an attack.”

You’ve said that this is year zero. In January the season is partly already compromised, what’s your idea?

“Who said anything about goals? The most important thing is to grow, we had the Coppa Italia left but you saw that I made decisions that we knew could be risky, but I knew this. From the very beginning I’ve wanted us to go on a path that focuses on development, I gave the players structure and I organized them, I made evaluations for the future. I let some younger players play in the Coppa Italia for the sake of the transfer market, in order to be able to evaluate them. The match against Udinese was determined by this but no-one said that the goal was to win the Coppa Italia, no, the goal was to go as far as possible. For the duration of a few matches this scenario was changed.”

With regards to the development of how the team plays has gone, are you disappointed?

“No, I know the Italian league very well as well as its difficulties. It’s normal that the matches become more and more tough as your opponents study you, and Chievo will put us in difficulties, in a match it takes only one episode or event to unlock the match. When I took over in Napoli I started by winning several matches easily but in order to see a good match you need two teams that go forward, as in the derby, where both teams played openly. If the opponents are closed then everything is much more difficult. In Rome even the technical episodes went against us.”

Tomorrow you won’t have Guarin, does this change anything?

“I don’t want to help Corini, he’s an excellent coach.”

What about Botta?

“He will be on the bench, he has many talents and I brought him on against Udinese because I wanted to take control over the match as well as wanting to see him play. Unfortunately I’ve only had him for a short period of time, but he’s very young, very talented and with time he could be a true champion. I have to think about winning points.”

The other night you said that this situation reminds you very much about your first year with Napoli. In what way?

“I think that we have to re-evaluate the team from the end of last season: this group has been divided and I’ve said this since the match against Cittadella. It was important to start things over completely, botch technically as well as psychologically. Even at Napoli I had to lift the team, took them to the 6th spot, started on the same path as now even if we’re talking about two very different clubs.”

Even if the words from Thohir regarding looking for finished players, aside from Milito, is there anyone you feel you miss?

“I’ve never really had Icardi at my disposal, Belfodil has shown that he needs more time to find his role, maybe he should have played more but I had to think about winning points. Players who weren’t Inter players before could be a risk in that you could lose points. Milito has been unlucky with injuries, but now I hope that he’ll stay fit. He’s an important player, some teams need a champion when things aren’t going well who can lift the young players as well as the rest of the team. We don’t think about winning easily, even when you’ve won everything, sometimes you have a dip in form. I want people to understand that we’ll give everything and we’ll do that tomorrow too.”

Let’s continue with the same question, do you think there is a turning point with regards to how you play?

“I think that it is a good thing to see an identity in how we play, but we have to become better finishers, look at the match against Lazio for example, it’s a match I’ve looked quite closely at, they played like smaller teams do and we tried to play our game. I’ve never seen, during this growth process, my team be at the mercy of the opponents. Maybe during the first 10 minutes against Udinese, but there the situation was different because we had to work hard when as they got an early goal. But as long as the team keeps improving then that’s a good thing.”

Compared to your first year at Napoli, you had a balanced midfield already in place there, here at Inter it’s just that which the team lacks, are you looking for players who possess those qualities which you lack?

“I’m saying that I’m no footballing-fossil, I can change formations depending on the team I’m leading. The team is like a puzzle, I have to make the pieces fit, balance is fundamental both in the midfield as well as in attack. My footballing ideas require technically gifted players who can work two ways. My job is to choose the best formation. To have two technical players in the midfield like Fiorentina have then that means that you have other players in other roles who can give the team balance, without conceding space and counter-attacks to the opponents. In Napoli I made certain choices, which meant that some players played deeper. I can play with four at the back if that improves the team.”

Fatigue in the team when creating chances, what do you think about that?

“Maybe you don’t believe me but football isn’t an exact science. I believe more in numbers: in the derby we went through a small crisis after the loss against Napoli where, by the way, I thought we played very well but we lost due to three dangerous counter-attacks, so I was forced to try different solutions, which is why I’m saying that the opponents count, like against Lazio, where some of our players were brilliant but you don’t take into consideration that they could experience a dip in form during the games.”

If you look at the results of your predecessors, how do your results stand up in comparison?

“I have my methods, I don’t want to talk about the other coaches because I make my decisions. I understand what it means to deal with difficult situations. Now that we’re in our crisis I don’t think that the results are that bad, as against Sampdoria and Parma where we played poorly still we only have 3 defeats, we need to keep taking points, after 15 matches we’ve won points in 13 of them however far too many of those have been draws. In the coming 19 matches I don’t think that we’ll make as many mistakes which will lead to us dropping points.”

Do you expect more from your set pieces?

“You’re right, we work a lot on our set pieces but we have to improve.”

Corini is expecting an angry Inter, is that how you’re feeling?

“I’d prefer to say proud, more than feeling angry, it will help us in this period, we will give 110%, that’s what great players do. I want to see this, it won’t be easy.”

Will we see a more focused Mazzarri after Thohir’s statement where he said that you were the perfect coach?

“Everyone knows that I always give my all, everyone wish nothing but the best for me and this is my strength. The president speaks with everyone, but he can’t say anything to me in order to motivate me more. If I feel that I lack in motivation then I will always leave, just like players do. I want to give everything I have inside me, to get them to give everything.”