Inter defender Stefan de Vrij is confident ahead of the Nerazzurri’s Champions League sroup stage clash with Shakhtar Donetsk later today.
Speaking to Italian broadcaster SportMediaset, the 29-year-old gave his thoughts on the Nerazzurri’s Champions League campaign and expressed the view that even after a frustrating opening day defeat against Real Madrid they have the qualities needed to get to the knockout rounds.
Inter have not enjoyed their endeavours in Europe’s top competition in recent seasons despite good domestic form, failing to reach the knockout rounds at the last three times of asking.
They did not get off to the start they wanted in this year’s edition of the competition, losing 1-0 against Real at the San Siro despite a strong performance.
This defeat makes good showings against Shakhtar, Sheriff Tiraspol, and Real away all the more important, but de Vrij believes that the team are not in serious trouble and can get out of the group stage starting with a good performance against Shakhtar today.
“Despite the defeat against Real we are very convinced that we will progress from the group, we are convinced of ourselves and of our quality. We just have to prove it,” he said.
Of this evening’s match he said, “It is certainly a very important match, given the opening defeat. It is important to get points.”
On criticism that has been aimed at Nerazzurri captain Samir Handanovic’s recent performances he said, “We know that people write and talk about us. We don’t have to look at that, there is a lot of trust between us and a desire to do well. What happens outside remains outside and does not concern us.”
De Vrij concluded, “We always want to do well. Last year it was a disappointment, we weren’t able to score here and [today] we want to win.”