LOCARNO - "It was important for us to get back onto the pitch after the last round of the Europa League so that we can try to be as ready as possible for the play-offs on Thursday." That was Andrea Stramaccioni's first comment after the friendly win over C.A. Bizertin in Locarno.
He went on: "We're focused and we know that Vaslui are tricky opponents. They knocked Lazio out of the competition last year and this year they came into it via the Champions League qualifiers. They certainly mustn't be underestimated."
Rodrigo Palacio was on song tonight as he netted a brace, and Stramaccioni was asked for his thoughts on how the Argentine fared playing in a Milito role: "We have a lot of quality up front and with the formation we're using we can play two up top without a target man."
After Palacio, the next topic was Maicon, who is rumoured to be one of the players who could leave Inter. "Maicon is the best right-back in the world," the coach declared matter-of-factly, "but you don't assess things based entirely on your fondness of a player or what he is worth. Let's see what happens."
Finally, Stramaccioni was asked about the possibility of Cassano joining Inter. "All I'll say is that this team isn't complete yet. That's a fact. Between now and 31 August – actually, 26 August, when the league gets underway – someone will be brought in. We'll see."