Ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League fixture against St. Etienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Walter Mazzarri met with the press to give his thoughts on the upcoming fixture.
“We have a lot of respect for St. Etienne, it’s a team of high quality, especially from an athletic point of view. They are very strong physically, but we are aware of their strengths. They’re a complete group from every single point of view who move forward very quickly, they have great individual talent. We know that we will be playing in a stadium that has a very heated atmosphere. Guarin has warned us, they have very special fans who go to the stadium with a lot of enthusiasm to help their players and team. We are prepared and we want to play our best. All teams give 120% against us and I expect my team to do the same tomorrow night.”
“Would I be satisfied with a draw? The mentality that I have always drilled home is that we are Inter and we always have to try and win. We won’t speculate about a draw, we go on that pitch tomorrow to win 3 points. I have selected Osvaldo, Nagatomo and Guarin who were previously not available: we’ll test Guarin today to see if he can start whilst the other 2 will start on the bench. I chose them because we’re in a state of total emergency as we don’t have Hernanes, Campagnaro and Khrin available. I repeat, we’re in an emergency but we have to only think about giving a great performance tomorrow.”
Then Mazzarri was asked to comment on the heavy criticism directed against him personally for the teams poor performances: “My method of coaching my players is the same as it’s always been, that is to say that with my players I act like the father of a family, meaning I use both a stick and a carrot. Sometimes I get angry, sometimes I give compliments. I always behave in the same way and the criticism doesn’t affect me. I concentrate on what needs to be done and to do it in the best way possible, the rest doesn’t interest me.”
“Will I be rotating the squad tomorrow? I’ll decide the starting line-up tomorrow also because one thing happens after the other. Right now we’re testing Guarin and we’ll see if he can play or not. I don’t know who will play. Kovacic played as a trequartista already against Sampdoria when he didn’t have the ball in order to put pressure on them. He has to find space to go get the ball towards the goal and to receive the ball in dangerous positions, as he’s done in matches when he’s made the difference. He’s doing even better than he’s done in the past as well as continuing to grow.”
Finally Mazzarri was asked to comment on the fact that the French media that he’s under a serious threat of losing his job to which he replied: “I have never raised this issue. I always train the players and give my all, they know what they want and they try to do it. They will also do it tomorrow.”