APPIANO GENTILE - The first Milan derby of the season is around the corner, but for Rafael Benitez it's one game at a time. "The most important match is always the next one; we have to beat Lecce and then we can start thinking about the derby," said the Inter coach in his pre-match press conference.
"The Lecce game is very important for the team's confidence. There are three points to win and we will win them. Lecce will attack and they will try to use the counter-attack if we have more control, so it won't be easy."
Wesley Sneijder will not travel south with the team and Benitez explained the condition of the Dutch midfielder. "He felt unwell at half time the other day. We have to understand what is wrong with him and look at the results of the tests."
Benitez also talked about the fitness of Goran Pandev and mifield trio Esteban Cambiasso, Dejan Stankovic and Thiago Motta: "Pandev has worked a bit harder in the last two games and this is never easy after an injury. If everything goes well Cambiasso will be available for the derby. Stankovic is available and Thiago Motta is improving."
With so many players out of action, what tactical formation will Benitez deploy against Lecce? "It will be an important chance for the youngsters, but I will wait until tomorrow before making my choices. We tried 4-2-2 and it went rather well. We will see."
The Inter coach was then quizzed about the lack of finishing prowess and the team's many injuries. "Milito scored many goals last year and Eto'o is scoring them now," replied Benitez. "Maybe we will score more if we think that tomorrow's game is a Champions League match... We create many chances during matches and sometimes you just have to score one more to win, and this is what we will try to do.
"As for the injuries, the players have ended the season later and started earlier. It's never easy with a World Cup in the middle. The cause of these injuries? People talk and talk, but don't analyse why. Every team at the top level has difficulties, especially with a World Cup in the middle. The job we are doing is to prevent and cure."
Finally, Benitez was asked if he expected to have so many problems when he took over at Inter. "No, because I took over a team that won a lot last year and I thought that some things could be improved, and now I have a team that is doing well but there are still some difficulties. We will try to do our best until January and then we will see if we can do something, also taking into account the injury to Samuel. We have lost an important player in an important position. We have some ideas and we will see what can be done. I have spoken to the president and Branca. We know what we have to do."