Appiano Gentile – On the eve of Inter v Juventus for the Supercoppa Frecciarossa, the Nerazzurri’s captain, Samir Handanovic, talked about the match alongside coach, Simone Inzaghi, at a press conference answering questions from the gathered journalists.
How do you feel before such vital games?
Matches between Inter and Juve are important for both teams, this is a Derby D’Italia with a trophy on the line and we want to win, as they do too. There are lots of emotions involved and we know it. We’ll play the game with our usual energy and attitude, we’ve got to play well and put into action everything we’ve been doing on the training ground.
What does it mean to play a match against such an opponent with a trophy on the line and what type of game are you expecting?
I’m expecting Juventus to be hard to beat, it’s not the same as other games, they’ve always been tough when they’ve come here. Current form doesn’t matter, we’re expecting a hard game; whether we’re favourites or not, it doesn’t make a difference.
Do these games and highs make up for so many years of sacrifice when you weren’t playing in finals or supercups?
It’s not only for me, titles are vital for all our players. They’re important for me as well as all my teammates.
There’s been talk of a new signing these last few days, do these rumours bother you?
They don’t bother me, it’s good to have competition for places and helps you improve. What’s important is believing in yourself. I focus on today, I don’t overthink it and I take things day by day, match by match.
Inter went six games without conceding before the game against Lazio, have you spoken about it?
When the team goes six without conceding it’s the defenders who do it, when we do concede then it’s Handanovic. Mistakes happen, Stefan de Vrij misjudged the ball, then Milan Skriniar and I did so as well. We all make mistakes, if we didn’t there would never be any goals so we will try to do what we can and be as solid as we have been recently.
Some of your teammates have said they’re really enjoying playing in this Inter squad, is it the same for the goalkeeper?
Yes, we all enjoy playing and it’s less enjoyable when you’re not winning, by doing so we’ve found a certain spirit and more. Even the two previous, tough years have helped us to create this mentality, the will to win titles. We’re playing in a different way, we’re maybe moving more, we’re enjoying ourselves in training but this only comes as a result of winning. If you’re not you quickly lose it. We need to be aware of this and not let our guard down because a week is a long time in football.
The idea that the Scudetto is Inter’s to lose has been talked about. Does that motivate you?
It does but there is still a long way to go in the league. Covid is still a factor and we need to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves. We need to be aware of and disciplined with what we’re doing.
Do you feel that there is a winning mentality in the team this year which hasn’t been there in previous years?
We know the strength of our team but our opponents’ perceptions have also changed, how they look at us, now they see a great Inter side and this is important and something we’re aware of.