Mancini: "Lots of options up front"


Inter coach discusses attacking possibilities in news conference

BRUNICO - Part four of Roberto Mancini's Brunico news conference:

Mancini: could Ibrahimovic become an advanced midfielder?
"I don't think this is likely. Let's say that with Suazo who can sometimes play on the right or the left, three strikers could play with more continuity than in the past. Suazo has characteristics that allow me to field him as a very attacking winger. Of the five I have, none of them can play as an advanced midfielder."

Who could Inter's advanced midfielder be?

"Let's say that Stankovic is our basic advanced midfielder. Then there's Figo, and we're bringing in Jimenez who is a young player of 22 with great ability. A lot depends on him and what he can do, but I believe in him a lot because he has superior technical qualities to normal players. Like Figo, he can play as a half-striker or as an attacking winger in midfield. This is why I say we can play with three strikers in a different way. We need to wait a bit and get to know them better. One thing is seeing them from the outside, another is seeing them every day and understanding their qualities."

Has Figo stayed on knowing he'll have to have a bit more patience than last year?

"Time passes for everyone. I found myself in his situation, it's not easy to accept. He has run up and down for twenty years. When you reach a certain age you can't play all the time even if you have class. Figo know this and has accepted it without any problems."

Replying to journalists' questions, Massimo Moratti said that Mancini can improve in handling Champions League games more calmly...
"This is why I say the two matches in Villarreal and Valencia can be useful to us next season. Negative things can happen and they can help us improve. It's easy to talk on the outside, but it's a bit less easy when you're there. Looking back to the last Champions League, we did well all the time except in our first two matches. In the end we were knocked out with two draws and we didn't deserve to be eliminated."

Adriano has thanked you for how he has been treated by the coach...
"He doesn't need to thank me. He doesn't need to thank me when I leave him out. He will play if he deserves to. He knows the respect I have for him. If he trains hard and seriously and leads an athlete's life, he will definitely return to being what he was a couple of years ago. I don't think he will thank me if this doesn't happen. I have never been angry with Adriano for a personal reason, I couldn't understand why someone with his ability and strength couldn't manage to do what an athlete should do."

Didn't you do the same things as a player?
"I did things that shouldn't have been done, but I was still a serious professional. I didn't go out at night and return at six in the morning. I never did that. If a player doesn't lead an athlete's life in today's football, he has trouble playing."

Aren't there too many friendlies from now until the start of the championship?

"Yes, maybe there are a few too many. But we will keep a lot of the Primavera boys. Seven or eight of them will stay with us until mid-August. The lads who finish the Copa America today won't be back until about the tenth of August. We will have a few problems."

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