Mourinho: "Ready to restart"


"We worked well in Abu Dhabi, we have continued our work in Italy, and we are prepared for tomorrow"

APPIANO GENTILE - José Mourinho previewed Wednesday's Serie A Week 18 clash against Verona in his first press conference of 2010 at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti. Inter travel to Verona after a winter break the Portuguese coach would have preferred to do without. "I don't like breaks and if we have them, I prefer for them to be short, like this one, so I am satisfied to return to playing now," said Mourinho. "We worked well in Abu Dhabi and the friendly was important too because it gave us a bit of intensity. We have continued to work on our return to Italy, we are prepared for tomorrow's game, playing at 12:30 is no problem for us."

Inter visit Chievo with new signing Goran Pandev, whom Mourinho considers a "modern, multifunctional striker who can play behind the centre-forwards and on the right and the left. He did this at Lazio where he was coached by a good coach like Delio Rossi and I think that the player has tactical culture. He will need to recover the intensity of his game, but I don't think he will have problems adapting to Inter's game. Yes, I think he will make his debut tomorrow but I don't know for how long. I don't know how much time he needs to get back into match rhythm, but I always say that the psychological aspect is fundamental in these situations. Goran might not be in top physical condition, but he will have great desire to be on the pitch.

"Sneijder played a game the day after arriving at Inter, but Pandev's situation is different. Wesley had played a few matches with Real Madrid and a lot with Holland, while Goran has only played one with Macedonia. Sneijder arrived in the team at a time when Inter didn't have many options in his role, whereas we don't have big problems in terms of strikers, but I am very happy to have him because I really like him."

Inter will play their first competitive match of the new year without suspended midfielders Stankovic and Thiago Motta, while Cambiasso and Krhin miss the Verona trip through injury. But Mourinho isn't worried. "Zanetti, Vieira and Sneijder are obviously three midfield players, but so are Stevanovic and Crisetig, and Chivu and Quaresma can also play in that zone. We will play with those available and we won't make a drama out of it."

On to the transfer market and Mourinho admitted that Patrick Vieira's departure is imminent. "I think there are very few possibilities of him staying in our team, but I have great trust in him and his professionalism, and I continue to trust him even if he is finalising his transfer to another team," he said. "Davide Santon is injured and he is in a normal process after a physical problem, but what I don't like is that he is on and off the pitch. Marko Arnautovic, meanwhile, is a fantastic lad but he has the mentality of a child. His best friend is like him and it's not easy... Today, though, he arrived at nine thirty, three hours before the training session, and he deserves to be in the squad for tomorrow's game."

At the end of the press conference, one Italian journalist asked Mourinho to clarify his comments in The Sun over the Christmas break. "I love English football, life in England and it's true I want to return," said Mourinho. "When? I don't know, but it will never be before finishing a job. I will never leave a project halfway through. Full stop. I am fine at Inter and I will stay here until 2012."

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