Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has suggested that Inter were very close to beating Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday in the Champions League, according to a report in the Italian media.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Sassuolo match, as has been reported by FcINternews, Simone Inzaghi explained that Inter just lacked a killer touch against Shakhtar Donetsk.
“Balance is very important. In Ukraine we did well on the defensive level, doing less at the level of play but with a little cynicism, we would have won the game because we had much more important opportunities than Shakhtar.”
Inter have struggled to score goals in the Champions League so far this season but Simone Inzaghi thinks the issue is specific to the two matches rather than a wider issue.
He said: “I think it is the result of the match at that moment. The best attack in Serie A should not struggle but it can happen.
“With Real Madrid, we shot 18-19 times, the other night much less but with even more sensational opportunities. We need to improve but it is the result of the match.
“I don’t think there are psychological problems with the Champions League because we have seen how the team has developed against Real Madrid.
“The games did not allow us to take a positive result. With Shakhtar, we were not the usual Inter but we had most of the opportunities we could have won as could have happened with Real Madrid.”
As for the preparation for the Sassuolo match, Simone Inzaghi has today been able to train with the whole team.
“Today is the first day with the whole team. I will evaluate how the boys have recovered and tomorrow morning I will choose the best eleven.
“Definitely not an easy match, the seventh in twenty days. There is a bit of physical and mental effort. We are facing a team that plays very good football, with excellent individuality. The real Inter will be needed.”
Inter announced losses of over €245 million yesterday but Simone Inzaghi is calm about the situation, saying: “I’m not the best person to talk about it because we have a very good team. The first goal was to secure the club; I think next year’s balance will be much better, but I think the club has done a great job.
“The fans are loyal, they always encourage us, the salaries have arrived regularly. There is confidence for the future.”
Many fans are concerned that Hakan Calhanoglu’s inconsistencies are starting to show, but the boss appears happy with his contributions so far.
“I am very satisfied with Calhanoglu, he combines quality and quantity. I have many players in that position.
“The starting bench in Kyiv was not a reference to Atalanta, because I analyzed it the next day and I liked it, he did what he had to do.
“I have many midfielders who are doing well and from time to time I can make different choices.”
Simone Inzaghi also made sure to praise his goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic, although he suggested Andrei Radu could get a chance in the Coppa Italia.
“We will think about the Cup when it arrives. Samir Handanovic is the captain and a leader in the locker room. A great goalkeeper who will play for Inter for many years.”
The coach is focusing entirely on the match against Sassuolo rather than the issues around South American players getting back from the international break.
“Now there is Sassuolo. We know there are problems but now tomorrow’s match worries me.”
Another player that Simone Inzaghi was asked about was Alexis Sanchez. He said: “Alexis has so much quality that he can play as an attacking midfielder and a striker.
He is coming back very well after his injury. He has been working at full capacity with the team for twenty days and I am very happy with what he is giving us.”
As for who can replace Marcelo Brozovic when needed, Simone Inzaghi explained that multiple players can deputies: “I think Marcelo in that role is specific, a very important player. As I said if necessary I can field other players, the other night I put Barella as had already happened in Genoa with Sampdoria.
“I have Sensi, Gagliardini, Vecino. From time to time we will evaluate.”
Evaluating the campaign so far, Simone Inzaghi is happy with how his team are doing overall.
“We are at a good point, we can improve. The performances have been very good, we are missing the points that we deserved between Sampdoria and Atalanta but I am happy with how we are holding the field.
“There is a bit of regret because I would have liked to have more of a point in the Champions League for the opportunities we have had, but we will think about it when we return to play in that tournament.”