MILAN - Roberto Mancini stressed the importance of tonight's win over Sampdoria as it keeps Inter within touching distance of third place.
Speaking after the Nerazzurri's 3-1 triumph at the Meazza, the boss explained: "When things aren't going well for you every match is delicate and difficult. We knew this was going to be a tough game and that we needed a win to get three points and make sure we don't lose too much ground with the teams above us. At times like this you have to dig deep and find something extra. We did that today so we're happy."
He then discussed his decision to go with a 4-4-2 formation today: "We've always played 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 except in the first five games when we played with a diamond midfield – and as it happens we won all of those. What makes the difference is how focused and how determined to win you are – that's what wins you games."
Were you annoyed by the chants for Mourinho? "No, Mourinho won the Champions League here and did the treble. If I come back to San Siro in many years' time I think the same thing would happen. I think it's right."
With Inter's first two goals this evening coming from corners, Mancini was asked about how his team dealt with set pieces: "We did a bit better although I must say that apart from at Verona the rest of the season we've done well on set plays."
The manager then commented on the decision to keep the team at the training ground this week: "It wasn't a punishment and we only spent four days at the Pinetina. It can help you to work better sometimes."
Inter can now start preparing for next Sunday's visit to Juventus after a key victory: "Yes, today was a crucial win as it means we can stay up close to third place."