Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi has outline his team’s ambitions ahead of the beginning of their Serie A season.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of the Nerazzurri’s Serie A opener against Genoa at the San Siro tomorrow, as reported by FCInterNews, the manager expressed the desire to do everything to defend last season’s Scudetto crown, and showed faith in the qualities of his team.
Inzaghi has had a full preseason with his squad, though he has already seen much upheaval with Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku departing and Christian Eriksen ruled out due to health problems, while several players have arrived with more to follow.
Despite the changes that have taken place since the last season ended, the new coach believes that the team is ready to continue on from a position of strength and will look worthy of the position of defending champions.
“Tomorrow, both for me and for the players, it will be very emotional to play in front of people after a year and a half in which we played in empty stadiums,” Inzaghi stated,
“It will be beautiful, exciting, I can’t wait, like all the guys. Then after five minutes, the emotions will pass.”
On the ambitions for the season he stated that “The goals are ambitious, I don’t like making proclamations but the motivations will make the difference and the guys have shown me they have a lot to give. So I’m confident.”
“We know there will be difficulties,” he continued, “but I repeat that I am confident. The goal now is to beat Genoa. Within the club there is a great relationship and daily interactions.”
“We know that something is missing but I am happy with what we have done to prepare. We all know that this year the club had problems, there have been due sales like Hakimi’s. We saw Eriksen’s major problem and Lukaku’s unexpected sale,” said the coach.
“But very, very strong replacements came in,” he said of the squad, “Dzeko was my request after Lukaku’s departure. We know Calhanoglu well. Dumfries is very interesting and will need to settle in.”
Inzaghi also spoke about the return of a player from loan with Hellas Verona, noting that “Dimarco is back with two more seasons behind him.”
“We know it will be difficult,” Inzaghi stated, “and in all the stadiums we will have the Scudetto on our chest, but we will do our best.”
“I knew I was going to meet an important challenge,” Inzaghi said of taking over the managerial position from Antonio Conte, “the fans and the environment are going in one direction. They all know that we have gone through very important sales to stabilize the club.”
“Now we must all go in the same direction and react to the difficulties, and as mentioned our motivation will make a difference,” he added.
On the change from Romelu Lukaku to Edin Dzeko, he stated that “I have come up against Dzeko many times in recent years, he is one of the best around. It was an explicit request from me to the club.”
The manager described the Bosnian striker as “A complete player who fills his position alone.”
“We know that Lautaro and Sanchez will be missing tomorrow,” he said, continuing that “another player will arrive to complete the options in that position.
“I have Pinamonti and Satriano, who trained very well. Sensi and Calhanoglu can ‘move up’ if necessary. I have faith for tomorrow, and for the whole season.”
Inzaghin was asked where he thinks Inter will finish in the table, but was reluctant to give a firm answer.
“Now it is premature to say. There are seven well-equipped teams, I just say that Inter have motivations to give everything,” he said.
“I have been with the guys in recent weeks and they have trained well,” said the coach, “Making tables or predictions is difficult for me, I’ll just say that we will do our best to defend the Scudetto.”
“It will be important to start in the best way,” Inzaghi stated, “we have a decent schedule but it will be up to us to make sure that tomorrow’s game is simple.”
Of Genoa he said “We come up against an organized team, with players who have been around for a long time and will make our lives difficult. First thing I want to start in the best possible way.”
On the perception that Inter have become weaker this summer with sales, Inzaghi stated that “I’ve been expecting it for a while, after Hakimi and Eriksen, and with Lukaku gone it is normal to see others in front.”
“But as I said, the seven best teams at the beginning all aim for first place,” he emphasized, “We will have to have ambition, team spirit, and I’m happy with what is on I’ve seen on the pitch so far, between training and friendlies.
“A coach must rely on what he sees in his daily work and the guys have looked very good.”
On the search for a striker the coach stated that “We have daily meetings, Marotta and Ausilio are very good at this, but my only concentration is on Genoa.”
“After tomorrow’s match,” he continued, “we will have a couple of days. The thing that matters most to me is tomorrow’s match.”
Of the departure of Lukaku Inzaghi stated, “It was an unexpected departure. It wasn’t planned. Me, Marotta and Ausilio tried to convince him.
“I got to see him here in training and I understood why he is appreciated so much and why Chelsea paid so much for him.”
“But when a player decides,” he said, “He came to me, he is a courteous and principled person. He told me that Chelsea was his dream, that he had made the choice, and together with the directors we tried to talk to him for a day and a half.”
He continued, “We made the choice, we organized ourselves in the best way, Dzeko has arrived and another player will arrive to cover this loss we experienced ten days ago.”