Mazzarri: "I'd like to see everyone moving at 100 mph"


"I saw the lads starting to understand what I want. The speed of play isn't where I'd like it to be yet, given the heavy workload"

PINZOLO - After the friendly match against Vicenza, Inter coach Walter Mazzarri met with the press in the mixed zone of the Stadio La Pineta in Pinzolo.

What did you see that could be improved upon compared to the first game?

"I saw the lads are starting to understand what I want. Clearly the speed of play isn’t where I’d like it to be yet, given the heavy workload they’ve had. But we also have to consider the tactical approach of the opponents, who put every man behind the ball. We got hit on the break a few times too many while trying to be proactive, which is something we have to eliminate. We had a talk at half-time and became more balanced. I want the team to be more proactive in their play. In the league the opponents will be waiting for us and we’ll have to do a good job to avoid these counterattacks that could cost us the result. We need a better understanding from this standpoint."

In your type of game the central midfielders are very important. Are you happy with Fredy Guarin so far? He seems to be one of the most prepared players from this point of view.

"Guarin is doing very well. Once he’s more in form I’ll expect to see even more off the ball movement from him.  Right now he’s very good at moving into the attack when we’re pressing the opponent. He takes advantage of his excellent shot, but every now and then we need to switch the play. It all comes back to what I was speaking about earlier. First of all, in order to play the kind of football I like, the players need to have the legs for it. At the moment the most important thing was to finish preparations the right way, then we’ll benefit from it when it counts, when there are points at stake."

Were you able to speak a bit with president Moratti who came to Pinzolo to view this friendly?

"I met him just for a moment. We’ll see each other later."

During the match we saw you punch the bench a few times. But beyond that, what does this team need to improve right away?

"You don’t need to read much into my behaviour on the bench because I always demand the maximum from the lads. The only thing that counts is not getting injured, which is what I say to my players. I’d like to see them always going at 100 mph. This kind of behaviour shows you always want to be involved. Even in those moments when you have no legs left you still have to give your all just the same. It’s a way to urge them on and it’s something I’ll always do. And actually, as early as the second half, there were certain improvements made from a tactical standpoint."

What is the first thing that needs to be improved?

"I’ve already said it. Only that. It all comes back to the heavy workloads we’ve been doing. We still have the team bubble wrapped and it was important that no one got hurt. Tomorrow is the last friendly of the camp. I tried to increase the players’ minutes in the game. If you noticed, there were some that have already played 60 or 70 minutes, and not just one half. Tomorrow we’ll take the same approach. Should tomorrow go as today did we would end this preparation in the best possible way."

Inter signed Alessandro Capello for the youth team, but he’s shown himself to be so ready that he might not see any playing time there at all.

"He showed up a bit late and is fresher than the others. Having done less work he sparkles more on the pitch. For players with heavy legs like Icardi or Belfodil it’s normal to be a bit behind from this standpoint. Let’s wait because it’s a bit early to start making these assessments. The games that count will soon be here and things will be different."

There’s been a lot of talk about how the club needs to sign Mauricio Isla. But is he really needed with Jonathan playing as he has been?

"I’m hesitant when it comes to discussing individual players. I’m looking at the team and can say I’m satisfied with the performances. I’m also satisfied with Jonathan, who happens to be coming off an injury and isn’t going at 100% because he’s afraid of going down again. It’s going well for him and he’s beginning to understand what I want from a full-back."

What kind of timeframe have you set to decide who will play in each role?

"Until the competitive matches come along you’ll see everyone getting time on the pitch so I can get a look at them all. In defence, as you’ve seen, we play with six because of the coverage we get from dual roles and no one from the first team is missing. I’ve already made some changes to the back three and want to work out the best solutions. Now we have the friendlies and for a new group with a new coach they’re important in understanding the qualities of the squad and to get to know it from the inside, not as an opponent. You can’t get to know a group of players until you’ve trained them. I’ve already had a lot of indications and there are still more to come, especially when workload starts to decrease and other qualities become more evident."

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