Zanetti: "We will be careful and focused"


"We respect Tottenham and the other two teams in our group. But we want to qualify early"

APPIANO GENTILE - Javier Zanetti spoke to the Italian and international media today ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League clash against Tottenham Hotspur.

"They are a very good team," Zanetti said of tomorrow's visitors from London. "They have fast players and play very well on the counter-attack, so we will have to be very careful and focused, also when defending set-pieces.

"We respect Tottenham in the same way as the other teams in the group. We will be very careful and we will fight game after game and do our best to secure early qualification."

When asked about the differences between the Benitez and Mourinho 'regimes', the Inter captain replied: "There are no regimes here, but only the work that Mourinho did last year and what Benitez is doing this year. They are two coaches with different ideas but with the same desire to win. The sooner we develop Benitez's ideas, the better, and we have already made progress."

Inter go into Wednesday night's Spurs clash on the back of a gritty 1-0 Serie A win at Cagliari. "The criticism of our game doesn't interest us," said Zanetti. "We went to win at a difficult ground like Cagliari and we won the game. Winning and growing as a team is the only important thing. Lazio top of the table? I'm not surprised. They have shown a different mentality right from the start. They play with humility and they shouldn't be underestimated."

After his lung problem against Palermo, Zanetti is back in top shape. "Fortunately, the problem is solved and I feel good," he said. "My 134 appearances for Inter in Europe is a big number, and reaching it with this shirt means even more to me."

Inter's cross-town rivals AC Milan take on Real Madrid tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu, the stage of the Nerazzurri's Champions League triumph five months ago. "It will be a great match but I won't be supporting either team; I just hope it's a good match," said Zanetti. 

The captain concluded his press conference with a special message for all of Inter's fans in Japan: "I hope that they can celebrate an Inter triumph over there tomorrow evening."

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