Inter Milan midfielder Kristjan Asllani can still recall the “stressful” experience of starting against Fiorentina in Serie A this past season.

The 22-year-old looks back on that match in an interview in today’s print edition of the Corriere della Sera, via FCInterNews. He also talked about the “carrot and the stick” approach from teammates in training.

This past season was another one that saw Asllani grow gradually into the Inter shirt.

The former Empoli midfielder remains more of a backup option or squad player than a starter. His appearances have tended to come when Hakan Calhanoglu has been injured or needed a rest.

However, in a long and gruelling season for Inter, it was always inevitable that Asllani would get chances to play.

For example, the 22-year-old started a string of three matches in the spring while Calhanoglu was injured. He scored his first goal for Inter during that time.

Meanwhile, Asllani also started away to Fiorentina in January. This came whilst Calhanoglu was serving a one-match suspension for accumulation of yellow cards.

That was a very tough match for Inter. A gritty defensive performance was required from the whole team.

And Asllani put in a mature display to help the Nerazzurri to take three points on their way to the Serie A title.

Kristjan Asllani Looks Back On “Stressful” Serie A Clash Vs Fiorentina

Asllani admitted that “I was feeling the pressure a lot.”

“I hadn’t started in a while,” he noted. “And at the time Juventus were very close to us in the table.”

“It was definitely stressful,” the Albanian continued.

Asked if he feels that it was a season of growth for him, Asllani said “Without a doubt.”

“I have a great player ahead of me in Hakan, and I’m grateful for having a guy like him around.”

“Brozovic was also an inspiration,” Asllani noted.

“Watching him and Calha in training was one of the best things that could have happened for me.”

Asllani said that “I understood that even if you only play for three minutes, you have to be ready.”

“I also improved in the defensive phase,” the Albanian said. “Which is something I worked on a lot.”

Meanwhile, Asllani noted that there is a bit of a “carrot and stick” approach between Calhanoglu and Inter captain Lautaro Martinez in training.

“OF course,” the 22-year-old said. “But I thank [Martinez].”

“He talks to me a lot, especially off the pitch. I don’t want to say what he told me, but he’s helped me a lot.”

“He’s used the stick very well,” Asllani joked.

And as far as coach Simone Inzaghi, the Albanian said that “He knows when to come and talk to you – and when it’s not the right moment.”

“He’s helped me a lot,” Asllani said of Inter’s coach.