SPLIT - Andrea Stramaccioni was interviewed on the touchline by La7 after Inter got their 2012/13 season under way with a 3-0 win over Hajduk Split: "First-match nerves? No, we weren't nervous, just very focused. We prepared for this game in minute detail. Look at the fans here and that's after losing 3-0; imagine what it would have been like if we'd lost 3-0. Hajduk might have been fitter than us but I think Inter played the perfect game tonight."The team set out to play good football and managed it with new players on the field. "I pass the compliments I receive on to the lads," the Nerazzurri coach continued. "We're keeping our heads down. It's a good result but what I liked was the fact that we never stopped trying to play football and we gave very little away. It's a shame about Silvestre's mistake at the end, otherwise Handanovic wouldn't even have touched the ball. It's only the first game though. We're happy but we'll move on and keep our feet on the ground."
The players running over to the coach to celebrate their goals is a sign of the togetherness of this Inter team: "We're working well together and we're a close-knit group, both on and off the pitch. We also had a surprise visit from the president today. It shows that Inter are united, compact and determined to let their football do the talking."
Could getting qualification in the bag so early change the way the team prepare for the long haul? "Our plans were very clear. It would have been a mistake to try and be ready for 2 August. We're working towards the Serie A kick-off. Now let's enjoy this win and let me also say how great these fans are: enthusiasm like this is great for the sport."
The coach went on: "Hajduk proved they are a decent side. We knew we were in for a tough game, especially with their fantastic supporters and the atmosphere they provide. You have to give credit to the crowd – they were behind the team the whole time.
"How did Inter fare? We knew we'd be in for a hard time if we tried to beat them for fitness. We went about it the right way and imposed our own game. We deserved to win it with the chances we created. We're satisfied with our performance. I was particularly happy with the personality we showed, always trying to play football, and the unity of the group. We didn't give anything away and we improved our possession too."
On Wesley Sneijder: "I have a lot of time for him. He turned up for training in great shape and he played really well today." And on Maicon: "He got injured against Koper and trained separately until the Celtic game. I didn't want to risk him today."
Finally, Stramaccioni had a special message for the Nerazzurri fans who made the trip here: "I want to thank them. Coming here on 2 August and getting behind us for the whole 90 minutes means that Inter have winners in the stands too."