Inzaghi: “I’m expecting a classic Inter performance”


Apr 2nd 2022

The coach looks ahead to Sunday’s away clash against Juve

APPIANO GENTILE - The league returns tomorrow and for Inter, it’s the Derby d’Italia that awaits. The Nerazzurri are ready to get back out there after the international break, as they face Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus in Week 31 of Serie A. The game kicks off at 20:45 CEST from the Allianz Stadium in Turin.

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi took part in a pre-match press conference, where he reflected on recent form and spoke of his expectations for the game.

We’re coming into the business end of the season and it’s all kicking off with Juve v Inter tomorrow: what are you expecting from the game? “This match is of the utmost importance. There could be no better game for us to send out a strong message to other teams and ourselves.”

How is Marcelo Brozovic doing? He recently renewed his contract and has now been back in training: is he available? “Everyone knows how important Brozovic is for us; he’s a crucial player. Over the last few days, he’s been doing pretty well. Both he and Stefan de Vrij will join in for the entire training session, so we’ll see how they do.”

How are the team doing? Are they all mindful of the fact that coming away with less than three points tomorrow could put your title hopes further out of reach? “Yesterday, we had a good training session. It’s up to us now to channel our anger and our character into doing more. We’ve dropped points in the last seven games, coming away with disappointing results. We know that we’re going to need energy, aggression and determination to play a match. We’re up against a tough opponent who are hard to beat at their home ground. We are going to play with personality and character.”

Why have Inter have stumbled so much over recent games when they had done so well in the previous months? “All the top teams have had some difficult moments. Ours happened to coincide with the double header against Liverpool and I think it started with the derby match. If you’d have said to me at the start of the year that we’d enter April with the Italian Super Cup under our belts, having reached the Champions League Round of 16 and still within a shot of the Scudetto, then I’d have been very satisfied. It’s what the club wanted.”

This match could set Inter back on the right path: what are you expecting from it? “I’m expecting to get a result. We’ve always put in good performances and created so many opportunities, despite coming away recently with only seven points from seven games. We’re disappointed with our points tally of late, so now we want to get a result. There are nine crucial games left to play and the one tomorrow is the most challenging.”

You have a good record in one-off ties against Juventus: are you preparing for it as if it’s a make-or-break match? “We know that it’s a big game. The result will have an impact on morale and the league standings. We then have eight league games still left to play, as well as the semi-final of Coppa Italia.”

Do you think there is too much negativity around Inter at the moment? “We have to accept any criticism, separating constructive comments from ones that aren’t, which we ignore.”

The last Inter coach to win in Turin was Andrea Stramaccioni. He said that in order to beat Juventus on home turf, you need to be brave and play as champions… “He’s absolutely right. We’ve already played Juve in the Super Cup and beaten them. In the league, we drew because of a penalty in the closing minutes. We know that they are doing really well at the moment. They are coming into the match on the back of a positive string of results, bringing them within touching distance of the top of the league, which is where everyone predicted they would be.”

Who out of Dusan Vlahovic and Juan Cuadrado have you been studying the most? “Juve have improved since the arrival of Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria in January. They were already strong before. Juve’s attacking line has many strikers to keep an eye on.”

Is there a problem with the way you approach games? “I wasn’t happy with our approach to the matches against Fiorentina and Torino, but we then played really well in the second half. With Juve, it will be crucial to start well from the get-go.”

Do you think you’ll still be at Inter next summer? “As coaches, we rely on results and performances. I’m very happy and proud of the decision that was made in June. They were the champions and had lost two of their best players. Thanks to the hard work that the staff put in, everyone’s expectations were raised. Although we are in the title race and already have a trophy in the bag, it’s normal that we are facing criticism. But that’s always the case.”

How is Nicolo Barella doing? He has not had a good time recently... “Over the past few days, he has done really well, as have Alessandro Bastoni, Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, who all returned disappointed from the international break. They need to turn their attention immediately to the game tomorrow.”

Allegri thinks that you are favourites for the title... “We have great mutual respect and that’s what he thinks.”

You’ve beaten Juve many times and know how to do it: is that your secret weapon? “The significance of the game will inspire us, obviously. We are playing away, so it will be a different experience from being at San Siro, but we will have to put in a classic Inter performance.”

In recent games, the midfielders have been less involved in attacking play, with few goals. Do you need to improve in this area? “We’ve still been as threatening as earlier in the season. We are always looking to improve and we’ll start by doing that tomorrow.”

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