COVERCIANO – Roberto Mancini has reiterated his satisfaction with Inter’s performance against Palermo, speaking to journalists as he attended the Panchina d’Oro awards ceremony in Coverciano on Monday.
"I’m pleased that the team had another good game after Wednesday and I hope we keep it up for the next ten games. Third place won’t be easy because we’re a bit behind, but it’s only five points and we still have to play Roma. There are 30 points left to play for so I think it’s possible," began the Inter boss.
There have been plaudits and criticism for Inter in equal measure this season, but Mancini explained that he pays little mind to all that: "That’s Italy. Whether things are going well or not I just do my job – sometimes you get it right, other times you get it wrong. I’m used to Italian football by now and I don’t worry about the plaudits or the criticism. I think you should be judged at the end of the season."
Asked about the title talk buzzing around the Nerazzurri earlier in the season, Mancini replied: "We made people think we could win the title. Obviously if we were up there with five matches remaining we’d have a chance. We always knew there were four better teams than us in the league but that doesn’t mean we can’t finish third. That was our objective at the start of the season and we hope to achieve it – if we got third it would be a great season for us."
Mancini has been linked with the Italy job in recent weeks, but was keen to play down speculation: "It’s always an honour to have your name linked with the national team, but for now I don’t think so. We’ll see in the future."
Finally, Mancini spoke about the Panchina d’Oro prize itself, which is awarded to the best Serie A coach of the year and was won by Massimiliano Allegri this time around: "He won the league so I think it’s deserved. I voted for Stefano Pioli."