Inter defender Milan Skriniar feels that current Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi has a good understanding of and relationship with the players in the squad.
Speaking to former Nerazzurri midfielder Borja Valero in a sit-down interview for Italian broadcaster DAZN, the 27-year-old gave his thoughts on the current coach as well as departed manager Antonio Conte and his time at the club overall.
Skriniar joined Inter from Sampdoria in the summer of 2017, and in the five years since then he has established himself as a key man at the back for the Nerazzurri.
The Slovakian did have to adjust to the back-three defensive system in Conte’s first season in charge, but then went on to shine as the Nerazzurri won the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia, and the Supercoppa Italiana over the past two campaigns.
“For me, the back-three defense was something new,” he said. “At first I struggled, I gave my best but I had limitations.”
Of adapting under Conte, he said that “Working with him and the staff helped me to improve on those limitations. Now with the national team we play with four at the back, and under Conte I learned to play in a trio. That’s a positive thing.”
Of Conte’s successor Inzaghi, the Slovakian said that “He’s like one of us, he jokes around with us, but if there’s something heavier that needs to be said he says it.”
Of the team’s difficult start to the season defensively, Skriniar said that “The team and the coach don’t just blame the defenders, the defensive phase as a whole is everyone’s responsibility, as the attacking one is as well.”
“We’ve talked about it,” he continued, “we know that as defenders we can do better than we’ve done so far.”
Skriniar stated that legendary former Inter, Real Madrid, and Brazil forward Ronaldo was his idol growing up, noting that “Ronaldo was my idol as a child because I played as a forward.”
“All children think about scoring a lot of goals early on,” he continued, “which he did at the highest level. I also remember the 2002 World Cup and he had a particular haircut and I asked my dad to do mine like that – but it looked so stupid and I cut it off right away.”
Of losing out on the Serie A title by two points last season, Skriniar said that “There was a lot of disappointment but we told ourselves that we had still won two cups.”
“We hoped that losing the Scudetto would give us greater motivation to win this time around,” he continued. “The criticisms came because they said that we were such a strong team that we had to win in dominant fashion, but we don’t listen to criticisms, they just take away our energy.”
“We dominated in the derby for seventy minutes,” he continued. “We also lost against Sassuolo, which was another important match.”
“And then there’s also Milan who have to be given a lot of credit, because their run-in was all really difficult matches and they won them all,” Skriniar stressed. “It’s not just us who lost out on it, they deserve great credit as well.”
Skriniar closed by speaking about his relationship with Inter fans, stating that “I’ve always tried to give my best for this team, fighting for every ball, perhaps that’s why the fans seem to love me. I have a good relationship with them which is great.”