Coach's first press conference: "We've laid good foundations and we're not far off. We want to be in the Champions League but Inter must always aim for the top"

RISCONE DI BRUNICO - Roberto Mancini is confident Inter can push on from last season and aim for the top prizes in the coming campaign.

Speaking to journalists in his first media conference of the new season, the coach insisted that the groundwork laid last term will stand the Nerazzurri in good stead over the coming 12 months.

“We didn't manage to qualify for the Champions League but I still think Inter had a great season. We were top of the league for 20 games and we hadn't done that for a while.

"We've laid some good foundations and added some quality players that half of Europe would love to get their hands on. It's not easy to build a new team but we have a strong, solid side now and I don't think we're far off.

“Our aim is to do better than last year. We want to get back in the Champions League but Inter must always aim for the top.”

On the training camp so far

“I'm the coach and it's my job to work with the players I have available to me. We've been working well up to now and all the lads have been putting in lots of effort.

"I'm waiting for our internationals to return. They'll train here with the Primavera then we'll all meet up in early August."

On Icardi

"All I can say is that he's working really hard in training – other stuff doesn't matter to me. What I care about is that he plays and scores lots of goals, that's all."

On his contract

“It's not important because I still have a year to go. I love my job and I always try to do my best – I've done that ever since I joined. I spoke to the owners two weeks ago and there's no problem there."

On Gabriel Jesus and Joao Mario

"Gabriel Jesus is a young player with huge potential. If he's able to fulfil it, he'll develop into a great striker.

“Joao Mario is a similar sort of player to Brozovic – a midfielder who can play on the flanks as well.

“They're both good players, although Serie A takes a bit of getting used to so even if they were to join they'd need a settling-in period.”

On Stevan Jovetic

“I don't think he's going to leave but I'm not the right person to answer that anyway. As things stand he's an Inter player, he's training really well and I'm sure he can do even better in his second year here."

On Ever Banega

“Banega is a midfielder who likes to mix it up a lot. He can start by playing off the front man and drop deep to pick up the ball. He plays for Argentina, he's got quality and charisma and I'm sure he'll be very useful to us.”

On Perisic and Eder

“They did well at the Euros but I had no doubt they would. You all criticised Perisic at the start and now everyone wants him.

“Eder was hampered slightly by the fact he joined us in January when we weren't playing at our best, but he's always been an exemplary professional, on and off the pitch.”

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