APPIANO GENTILE - After the presentation of our latest signing Wesley Sneijder, Inter coach José Mourinho took questions from the press ahead of Saturday night's Milan derby.
He said: "Sneijder completes my team. The group has been strengthened in every department now. We have bought a central defender, a man in midfield, an attacking midfielder and a striker. The idea of four months ago has come almost on the last day of the market. It's a pity he's not starting summer preparations but never mind.
"Our team is 50% new. Out of 10 players, 5 arrived this year. We need a bit of time to improve and acquire the mechanisms. But this team certainly has greater potential and is more balanced compared to last year."
Instead of talking about yesterday's Champions League draw, José Mourinho preferred to focus his attention on the Inter team for tomorrow's clash against AC Milan: "Will Zanetti go on the bench? I will decide. This week we trained without knowing if Sneijder could play tomorrow's game or not. We know Milan, we are prepared, but we have this time limit. I know for sure that the Inter on the pitch tomorrow will be better than the one that played against Bari last Sunday.
"Tomorrow my team faces another team that has the same level of quality, and I would have said the same thing if Milan had lost in Siena or if we had won last Sunday. There's no favourite to win this match. Inter will play for a positive result."
According to Mourinho, the time frame needed to see the new Inter is five or six months. "But there are coaches who take years," he said. "I became national champion in my first season at Porto and Chelsea and I can't ask for more time if I have proved that I can do well almost from the start."
Ricardo Quaresma and Marco Materazzi are not on Mourinho's team sheet for the derby and the Inter coach explained why: "Neither of them have physical problems. If I play Lucio and Samuel I will take Cordoba on the bench and they will all be players suited to the velocity of the Milan strikers. I think that Marco has different characteristics. Quaresma won't be there because I have other options. I preferred to call up Suazo, a fast player who can give me different characteristics, and with Mancini, Balotelli and Eto'o I have three options for the wings. There was no need to call up Ricardo as well."
As for the possibility of Davide Santon playing in midfield, Mourinho commented: "Whoever wrote that he will play in midfield was up in the trees spying on our training session."
Mourinho lambasted the press for misinterpreting his comments about Sulley Muntari and Ramadan after last Sunday's draw against Bari. "His situation is your responsibility," he said. "I know full well what I said on television after Inter-Bari and it's all taped. Some of you like changing my words but I only said 'Sulley's decision was absolutely not criticizable because he follows a religious faith'. After that, it's me who will see if he is capable of playing 90, 70 or 30 minutes and then decide. It's your fault if now there is an Islamic community that is angry with me. I have seen Sulley work in the best possible way this week."
On the decision to give Wesley Sneijder the number 10 shirt, the Inter coach said: "It was the only one free and I'm pleased to give it to a professional who has signed a contract for many years."