MILAN – "This is Serie A, these things happen." Andrea Stramaccioni smiled as he replied to a question about whether the criticism following defeat to Roma had annoyed him. He went on: "A coach and a team can show how good they are by remaining clear-headed and working out what went well and what went wrong. Constructive criticism is a good thing, the other sort of criticism isn't worth worrying about. The result is obviously very important, but a coach mustn't throw away all the good things after a blip. When you're playing at the top level, we simply cannot afford to concede goals because of lapses in concentration like Roma's second. That's a mistake we must work on and improve. And in this team when I talk about defensive lapses I mean 10 players – the whole team takes responsibility when we don't have the ball. Too much blame has been placed on the defence and on individual defenders. In any case, it's something we're working on. One thing I never want to see again is the way we switched off after their second goal. That's something I will not accept, a team like ours must not do things like that. It might happen unintentionally, but we just left the pitch. We've realised that now. It hurts but we'll move on and provide our answers on the pitch."
How does Stramaccioni intend to deal with the hectic schedule of matches that awaits Inter, including destinations that are difficult to get to? "You try to manage the players you have as best you can to maximise results. We've put together a squad that when everyone is available offers us alternatives in every position that are equally effective. Let's play tomorrow's game first and then we'll try to make sure we're ready for the next."
Moving on to the topic of Antonio Cassano: "Up until now, what I had to do was work out how many minutes Antonio could play in order to be able to make a difference, do the things he knows how to do, and that's what I did with him. And by doing so he was able to produce some top performances. He's done really well. He and the others who didn't have international commitments have done a lot of work over the last two weeks."