Simone Inzaghi has made clear that he plans to stay at Inter Milan for some while.
Speaking in a press conference after the Nerazzurri beat AC Milan in the Champions League to reach the final, as reported by FCInterNews, the coach opened up about his future.
Inzaghi’s future has been in doubt at times this season. Runs of poor form have led to speculation that he could well be sacked.
This has led to reports that the 47-year-old former Lazio boss could be sacked. The likes of Bologna’s Thiago Motta and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi have been rumoured as potential replacements.
Should Inzaghi be on his way, Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in his signature.
However, all of that kind of speculation has certainly been put on the backburner. The Nerazzurri have reached the final of the Champions League, a massive achievement for club and coach.
Moreover, President Steven Zhang told Sky Sport Italia that he expects the coach to be at Inter for “many seasons” to come. The President was full of praise for the coach’s calmness and the job that he’s done.
Simone Inzaghi Wants Long Inter Milan Stay
For his part, Inzaghi doesn’t plan on going anywhere.
Asked if he’d like to stay at Inter a long time, the coach replied “Absolutely, yes.”
“I have a contract, and evenings like this make you feel more closely a part of the club,” he continued.
“Me, my staff, and the players have put in an insane level of commitment,” the coach said. “We did well to not listen to much to criticism and work hard during more difficult moments.”
“A dream has come true for us, but there’s still a final to play.”
“From Plzen to Istanbul, we’ve just worked and plugged our ears,” Inzaghi said of how Inter have gotten this far.
“I know which criticism was valid and which wasn’t, it’s normal in football,” Inzaghi added. “I know how it works, I’ve always faced everything calmly.”
Inzaghi: Inter Milan Deserve To Be In Champions League Final
The Inter coach believes that his team fully deserve what they’ve accomplished.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” he said. “A dream that me and the guys have been cultivating since the group stage draw.”
“We had to believe in it,” Inzaghi continued. “We’ve deserved everything because nobody gave us anything.”
“The path has been long and difficult,” the coach noted, “tomorrow it’ll dawn on us what we’ve done.”
“Beautiful evening, I couldn’t ask for more.”
“I’m pleased, I’m proud,we’ve achieved this goal deservedly,” Inzaghi said. “I remember how we played with a lot at stake in Plzen, then we won in Barcelona, then Porto, Benfica, and Milan, all intense matches.”
“Winning the first leg 2-0, facing Sassuolo in between, and then in two and a half days the second leg,” the coach summed up the degree to which Inter’s fixture list has taxed the team.
“The guys have outdone themselves, congratulations to them,” he said of the team’s display, calling it “An organized, focused, aggressive performance.”
Inter Milan Never Prioritized Either Serie A Or Champions League
Inzaghi was then asked if the Nerazzurri were ever tempted to put more of their focus on the Champions League.
“My career speaks to it,” the 47-year-old said. “I don’t pay attention to which competition we’re playing in, I don’t make distinctions.”
“We knew what we were in store for this season,” the coach continued, “especially from April onwards.”
“There was also the Supercoppa in January, perhaps not as much was said about that because we’d already won that competition.”
Inzaghi noted that “The first thought that came to my mind is that when I was hired they asked me to reach the knockout rounds of the Champions League, and we succeeded at that in the first season. In the second, we’ve reached the final.”
“I’ll watch tomorrow’s match, it’s all to play for and Real and City both took turns looking in control,” he noted.
“I gave the players a day off tomorrow, they haven’t had one since April 1,” Inzaghi said
“From Thursday on we’ll prepare for the match away in Naples,” he continued.
“Right now I’d rate the season very highly for the progress that we’ve made,” the coach said. “But we still have two finals to play.”
Inter-Milan As Important A Semifinal As Real-Man City
At the suggestion that Real and City’s match is the “real final” of the Champions League, Inzaghi was defiant.
“I think Inter and Milan had an excellent semifinal,” Inzaghi said in response to the suggestion. “They were two very intense matches.”
“It’s normal that that coming up against Real or City, Inter or Milan would have been underdogs. ”
“We faced Real last season, we lost twice but played well. Tomorrow evening we’ll see who we face in the final.”
Inzaghi also praised the striker of Inter’s match-winner Lautaro Martinez.
“He works hard for the team, he was great in both phases,” he said of the Argentine.
Inzaghi Updates On Henrikh Mkhitaryan Injury Scare
The coach also gave an update on the potential injury suffered by midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian former Arsenal and Roma midfielder had to come off late in the first half with what looked to be a muscle problem.
“It was a fantastic evening, a little marred by Mkhitaryan’s injury,” Inzaghi noted of the 34-year-old. “Let’s hope it’s nothing serious, because he’s very important for us.”
“He earned the opportunity to play two finals with his performances on the pitch,” the coach said of Mkhitarian, who joined Inter on a free transfer from the Giallorossi last summer.
“We’re confident, he caught it in time,” Inzaghi said of Mkhitaryan’s injury. “We’ll see how he is in the next few days.”
Inzaghi: Inter Milan Continuing Path From Liverpool Tie Last Season
The Inter coach also connected the achievement of reaching the Champions League final to the team’s exploits against Liverpool last season.
The Nerazzurri went out to the eventual beaten finalists at the round of sixteen stage of last season’s competition. However, Inzaghi and his players did get the consolation of being the only team to beat the Reds at Anfield that season, in the second leg.
“Last season we could have gone through against Liverpool,” the coach said, “and we lost Brozovic and de Vrij to injury at Anfield.”