Inter captain Samir Handanovic doesn’t feel that the competition of Andre Onana arriving next season is something to be distracted by.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Supercoppa Italiana clash with Juventus, as reported by FCInterNews, the 37-year-old emphasized that he feels that competition for the starting spot is a healthy part of a football squad.
Onana has undergone his medicals with the Nerazzurri, and his signing on a free transfer for the summer will be announced as soon as it is possible to do so.
The Cameroonian is the player who the Nerazzurri have chosen to succeed Handanovic in goal in the long term.
However, what happens with the two keepers in the immediate future is not entirely clear, as this campaign the Slovenian is still the starter, and he could extend his contract past the summer and stay on as either a deputy or competition for Onana.
“They don’t phase me,” he said of the reports of Onana’s arrival being imminent. “Competition in the position is welcome, if it can push the goalkeepers to improve.”
“The important thing is to have self-confidence,” he continued, “I don’t make plans at six months in advance – I live for the day, this seems to be the best way to be.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s match, Handanovic stated that “The match against Juve is a significant one for both teams, it is a Derby d’Italia for a trophy.”
“We are eager to win as they also are, this match can give us a lot,” he added, “we will play with the same spirit and mentality that we have over the past two months.”
“I expect to meet a tough Juve side because this isn’t just any other game,” Handanovic said. “When they come here they have always been a tough match, regardless of their form. We expect a difficult match, it doesn’t matter who the favourites are.”
Of the goal conceded to Lazio over the weekend, he stated that “When Inter keep a clean sheet it’s the defenders who haven’t allowed a goal. When we concede, it’s Handanovic who has let in the goal.”
“There is little to talk about,” he continued, “in this case Stefan misjudged the ball, there are little mistakes through the defense.”
“Everyone was partly at fault, me, Bastoni, Barella and Brozovic. We try to take few risks and continue to be solid,” he added.
Of playing under Simone Inzaghi the captain stated that “Everyone enjoys playing under him, but without winning there is nothing to be happy about.”
“We have grown a lot by winning,” he added, “the previous two years have helped us a lot. Our mentality is different, now the players want to win trophies and continue to prove ourselves.”
“We play in a different way,” he said of the transition to Inzaghi from Antonio Conte, “there are fewer schemes and rigid patterns of play, but you only enjoy yourself if you win.”
“We keep ourselves alert because in football everything can change completely in a week,” he explained.
On the pressure of being Scudetto favourites, he stated that “It motivates us, but there is still a long way to go in the season.”
“Nothing is set in stone, and there’s also COVID to think about,” he continued. “We must continue to do what we’ve been doing, be cautious, self-disciplined.”
Handanovic closed by stating that”We are aware of our strength, the perception that our opponents have of us now is different.”