MILAN – Simone Inzaghi could hardly have hoped for a better debut in the Nerazzurri dugout. He watched on as his team waltzed to victory on the opening day of Serie A, putting four unanswered goals past Genoa to get the first three unblemished points on the board.
Afterwards the coach spoke of his quiet confidence in his team and lavished praise on the quality options at his disposal.
“I was fairly sure we'd play well,” the coach told DAZN after the final whistle. “Since 8 July I've watched these guys train with real desire. They've been really keen to learn the new ideas my staff and I have tried to share with them.
“We got off to the best possible start today in front of our fans, who are finally back with us at the stadium. It was an amazing feeling to arrive at the stadium and see everyone singing and calling us. We couldn't have asked for a better start.”
One of the highlights of the day was summer signing Hakan Calhanoglu excelling on his competitive debut – and Inzaghi had nothing but superlatives for the Turkish schemer.
“He's a fabulous player who's tremendously skilful and has a top-notch work rate. He's a fully developed player but he's still got plenty of room for improvement. I don't think he realises himself how good he could be.
“When I played against him at Lazio, he always caused huge problems for me. We were lucky to be able to bring him here, but I don't like to talk about just one player because lots of the other lads have been working their socks off, deserved to play and are very important to this team.
“It was a joy to watch the team play today, even though we were missing some key players like Lautaro [Martinez], [Alexis] Sanchez and [Roberto] Gagliardini.
“We're very happy but we still have a lot of work to do because we have another tricky match coming up on Friday, against Verona. We must continue to play with this carefree approach and try to exploit our full potential.”
The coach ended by discussing the possibility of continuing to play with a one forward.
“With Lautaro suspended and Sanchez unavailable, I went with [Stefano] Sensi because he's been training so well and he's a fantastic player. He always managed to get into a pocket of space to receive the ball despite playing out of position.
“I'm lucky because I have so many quality attacking players, because Calhanoglu is a top-drawer footballer and [Edin] Dzeko just shows how it's done as a No.9.
“There's so much quality throughout this squad. Every coach has their own ideas but what I find reassuring is seeing the lads working with so much effort and commitment. That's the most important thing you want to see as a coach.”