MILAN – President Massimo Moratti fielded questions from a group of waiting reporters after the FC Internazionale board meeting held earlier this evening.
You can read the president's statements in full here on inter.it:President, did you talk about the Juventus game during the board meeting?
"Yes, we did, as people might talk about it at the bar. We spoke about the enjoyment you get from watching a game in which you hope the players are on form and get a good result. That's all."How important is this match for Inter in terms of third place?
"It's important to get points whether it's against Juve or any other side. Now we're up against the best team in the league, but you can't change your target."
Inter outplayed Juventus in the previous game his season and deservedly won, then something went wrong. A few weeks down the line, what do you think happened?
"A few months down the line. I think that immediately afterwards we were still playing quite well and we came up against problems that weren't only down to our form or the way were were playing. Then we went through a bad spell and we paid for that. Now we hope this match against Juve can help us get back on track."
Could Juventus be distracted by their Champions League tie with Bayern Munich?
"I don't think so. They're used to it, they've been playing in the Champions League all season. You organise and assess these things before you play the two games [in a row]."
Stramaccioni has been in the Inter dugout for a year now. An assessment? We hear lots of other names connected to Inter. What do you have to say about that?"It seems to me that these other names are linked to other targets and as for Stramaccioni, the year has gone as we might have expected. As I've said, he's got quality and he's had a totally new experience. So it's acceptable that there should be situations that aren't totally positive in terms of results. What matters is that these situations become a positive experience for the future."
Did you expect all this affection from Mourinho? He talks about Inter every day.
"Mourinho is very fond of us and he has a positive memory of his time here, just as we do and regardless of what we won together, on a personal level too. So yes it's nice that there are people who feel this way and remain loyal."
Have you spoken to Mourinho?
"No, no. We've texted each other in the past but they were just courtesy messages, not about future plans."
Could he return one day?
"Well, in the future..."
Do you expect to see the same Inter against Juventus as in these teams' last meeting?
"That wouldn't be so bad at all!"
The last time Inter played Juve in the afternoon was with Ronaldo and Iuliano...
"Yes, but it was in Turin."Do you think the outcome of the Juventus game will influence your opinion of Stramaccioni?
"No, as I said before: these are all new experiences that are positive and that I hope can provide positive results now too, but that's not how you judge a lad who's on this adventure and preparing for the future."
Is he likely to stay on as coach?
"I certainly think so, yes."
Stramaccioni has lasted longer than any other coach since Mourinho. Is that a sign of the club's faith in him?
"Yes, or perhaps that I've learnt something over time."
If you could take one player off Juve, who would it be?
"I don't know, they have quite a few good players."
Are the 18 points that separate Inter and Juventus a true reflection?
"That's what the table says, maybe it is. We'll have to see what it is at the end of the season."
Any regrets over Mario Balotelli?
"No. We knew that we wouldn't resign Balotelli, unfortunately because of what happened in the past. If anything, I admire Balotelli for the fact that he's becoming more and more professional, and that's a very good thing. That was the only problem he perhaps had and which he doesn't seem to have anymore."