Inter Legend Dejan Stankovic: “Nerazzurri’s Fate In Their Own Hands, Eriksen Can Make The Difference”
Inter legend Dejan Stankovic has encouraged his former side to focus on themselves and urged Antonio Conte to keep showing faith in Christian Eriksen.
Stankovic is currently in charge of Red Star Belgrade and will host AC Milan tonight in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last 32 tie.
Inter then face their city rivals in Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina, where Conte’s side could open up a four-point gap in their quest to win the Scudetto.
“Inter’s fate is in their own hands,” Stankovic assured in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport’s print edition.
“Not being in Europe will be in advantage.”
Eriksen is expected to start this weekend’s derby after turning his Inter career upside down with recent performances.
Stankovic wants Conte to keep giving the 29-year-old a chance to impress, as he did during Sunday’s 3-1 win over Lazio.
“So far Eriksen has not had much room to express himself, but he is a real player,” Deki argued.
“He can make the difference, he has two wonderful feet.”
Stankovic is hoping to play his part for his former team in the derby, revealing he wants Red Star to wear out Stefano Pioli’s side before their big match at San Siro.
He also shared his thoughts on Conte, who took Inter top of the Serie A table on Sunday courtesy of their victory over Stankovic’s former club Lazio.
“We faced each other several times as players, we have often spoken,” Deki explained.
“Conte is a tough guy, who leaves nothing to chance, I like him.”
Stankovic also spoke about his son Filip, who helped Inter’s Primavera beat AC Milan 3-0 in their own derby yesterday.
“I am happy for Filip, who trains with the first team alongside his idol Samir Handanovic,” he said of the 18-year-old goalkeeper.
“He is having a good journey, he learns every day.”
Stankovic made 326 appearances in all competitions for Inter between 2003 and 2013, scoring 42 goals and winning five league titles with the Nerazzurri, among other major honours such as the UEFA Champions League in 2010.
He took charge of Red Star Belgrade in December 2019 and won his first trophy as a coach by clinching the league title last May.