Inter coach Luciano Spalletti held his first pre-match press conference of the new season at the club’s training centre in Appiano Gentile ahead of tomorrow’s fixture away against Sassuolo.
The former Roma coach was asked how the team’s physical condition was to which he replied: “We’re in good condition. We’re emerging out of the factory without the need for any more road tests, as we are ready to take on anyone. That means we must go for the victory against anybody. Sassuolo have a good record against us and this has always been a difficult fixture, so it’ll be tough again tomorrow, but the summer is over and the games all count now.”
Spalletti was asked if he feels that the team he is in charge of now is better than the one he had last season to which he replied: “Yes, I feel that I have a stronger side this season not just because of the new arrivals, but also as we know each other better and have a clearer idea of our objectives. We’ve got to improve last term’s fourth place. Nobody intends to hand Juventus the Scudetto before we’ve even started playing. Inter, Napoli, Roma, Milan and Lazio can all challenge for the Scudetto, because we have all strengthened. We are one of the five sides who could challenge Juve for the title and then we’ll see what happens.”
The Inter coach was asked about the reinforcements the Nerazzurri has made as well as to comment on the Serie A as a whole stating that: “I am glad that we brought in players of quality and solidity, of the right level to play for Inter. We feel confident for the future. I dealt with pressure in the past, now it’s all joy and excitement. Serie A has brought in players who before would’ve been more attracted to La Liga or the Premier League, but now Italian football is seen as an opportunity again and that is fundamental. We’re satisfied with all of that, but now we’ve got to bring home points starting from tomorrow. Last season it was all decided in the final 20 minutes, so if we learn our lesson from that, we can get the points earlier and not leave it so late.”
In conclusion Spalletti was asked why Portuguese international midfielder was out of the squad called to play Sassuolo to which he was clear: “Joao Mario is not in the squad due to a muscular problem and is not frozen out, despite what some might say. I pick the team and I can tell you he is not being frozen out.”