COMO, ITALY - NOVEMBER 08: Head Coach Simone Inzaghi of FC Internazionale looks on during the FC Internazionale training session at the club's training ground Suning Training Center at Appiano Gentile on November 08, 2022 in Como, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Pistoia - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)


Dec 6th 2022

The Coach's thoughts from Malta

After Inter’s 6-1 victory over Gzira United in their first friendly in Malta, and ahead of the team’s upcoming match against Red Bull Salzburg, Coach Simone Inzaghi had the following to say to the press:

What are your first impressions of Malta and what are the objectives? "We've received a warm welcome and the training pitches are excellent. We're training well. The game yesterday was challenging but we did what we needed to do. Now, we need to work in such a way that we're in the best shape possible when we resume on 4 January."

Have you spoken to Lukaku after Belgium's elimination from the World Cup? "I've spoken to all the lads at the World Cup. We have four players in the quarter-finals. Lukaku and Onana are no longer involved and will meet up with us between Friday and Saturday. Clearly, the players are in different moods but they were all doing well when I spoke to them. They're also feeling good physically. For those still involved, we'll wait until the tournament has finished for them."

What kind of response did you get in yesterday's friendly? "We'd worked quite intensely for three and a half days and there was a good response from both the first-team players and those in our Primavera side. The substitutes also did well; they're really helping us at the moment because we have players at the World Cup and D’Ambrosio, Correa and Darmian are at Appiano recovering from their injuries. We hope to have them back fit and with us soon."

This is a season that demanded a fast start, and it'll be the same during the second part of the campaign. What will you do to start again quickly, also knowing that you need to make up points on Napoli? "This break is new for everyone. We've drawn up a plan to ensure that we're in the best shape possible when we resume. The guys are working well, and we need to hope that we don't pick up any injuries and that those who were injured before the break can return in the best possible fashion."

You've conceded a lot of goals in the league so far. How are you going to correct this? Onana's World Cup didn't go as planned: what is your understanding of what happened? "As regards Onana, there was a misunderstanding that he paid the price for, but I've spoken to him and he's calm. He's a very professional lad and makes a positive contribution to the group. He'll be at Appiano on Friday and will start working with us again. As regards the goals we've conceded, we need to work on the details and our concentration levels, something which makes the difference during certain moments of matches."

Does Lukaku need to recover more from a psychological or physical perspective? Can Inter provide him with a chance to bounce back? "I've spoken to him. He was disappointed with Belgium's elimination because it's a World Cup and, as is the case with Inter, his country means a lot to him. He played 45 minutes and had three chances, but these things can happen. All strikers go through difficult spells, but a forward should be calm when opportunities are coming their way."

Will there be any new signings in January? "I'm lucky enough to be working for a Club that is attentive to what is happening in the market. Right now, it's important for the team to work in the best way possible. Marotta, Ausilio and Baccin are always mindful of what could happen."

Can Inter still win the league? "It's what we're hoping to do. In the early part of this campaign, there are four or five teams who have performed similarly and then we have Napoli, who have made a fantastic start and opened up a gap. However, there are 23 games to go; there's still time and we'll need to resume in the best way possible."

A very busy January is coming up, what are you expecting? "It's going to be a very demanding month. We'll be involved in the Supercoppa, which means a lot to us, but first there will be the league. So far, we've seen that winning ten out of 15 games isn't enough; a very high standard has been set. We need to try to do even better and pick up more than 30 points in our next 15 games because, at the current pace, a 30-point tally wouldn't be enough."

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