Roberto Gagliardini has revealed that he and teammates are aware that it will not be easy for them in their upcoming Europa League semi final match-up against Shakhtar Donetsk this coming Monday.
“It will be an important and difficult match. They are a strong team who we are studying and they are a team who have important individuals. We have to prepare for it as well as possible and do what the coach asks of us,” the midfielder explained in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia, which was aired a short time ago.
He was then asked whether Inter can take inspiration from his former employers Atalanta who surprised many by reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League.
“Absolutely, I’m sorry for them because we watched the match at the hotel and they had the match in their hands. They had a great year, but you have to stay on track until the very end and never give up and stay focused.”
Gagliardini then spoke on the differences between Bayer Leverkusen, who they beat to reach the semi final, and Shakhtar Donetsk.
“Perhaps Shakhtar have more technically-gifted forwards than Leverkusen did, they are very quick and they can cause problems. They’re strong at the back, but we know how to make life difficult for them on Monday.”
Next he was asked whether he is already thinking about possibly playing in the final and what the week of rest in between fixtures has meant for the team.
“Since the Getafe match they have all been finals, so we have to treat them as such. It’s been a long time since Inter played games like this, but we have everything it takes to go all the way.
“Let’s say that this week of rest is helping us to recover our energy. We are preparing in the best possible way and we will be ready.”
Gagliardini proceeded to speak on Inter manager Antonio Conte.
“The coach is very important, he is giving me confidence and I thank him for this. Throughout the season everyone had problems, unfortunately there were three of us at times, I had injuries and it was easy for the coach to make choices. Now he is playing me consistently and I thank him. I try to repay him on the pitch.
“The coach lives every match like a Final anyway, so we are preparing with real determination.”
This season the 26-year-old has made 30 appearances across all competitions to date. In his time on the park, which totalls just shy of 2200 minutes, he has scored four goals and provided three assists for his teammates.