COMO, ITALY - AUGUST 12: Head Coach Simone Inzaghi of FC Internazionale speaks with the media during the FC Internazionale Press Conference to present  Lecce v Inter at Appiano Gentile on August 12, 2022 in Como, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)


Aug 12th 2022

The gaffer's thoughts on the eve of Lecce vs Inter

APPIANO GENTILE - A new footballing year begins on Saturday 13 August at 20:45 CEST as Inter face Lecce at the stadio "Via del Mare" on matchday one of the 2022/23 Serie A season. On the eve of the game with the Giallorossi, Head Coach Simone Inzaghi answered questions from journalists at the press conference:

Finally, the season starts Coach: how satisfied are you with the work done in pre-season and how hungry are you to be back playing for three points again?

"We're ready and raring to go: we've been working well since 6 July, we've had plenty of games, many of them difficult. We wanted to test ourselves against teams ahead of us in their preparations. Apart from D'Ambrosio, everyone is fit and available for tomorrow".

Will Brozovic play? Where are you at with regards to adding to the squad? "Brozovic has trained as usual, I think he'll be available for the game. Regarding the transfer market, the squad will be this, just as we agreed. We are though expecting a defender to come in".

What's your impression of Lukaku been this pre-season?

"He's well, he's working really hard just like the other strikers. He was away for a year, and now he's settling back in but he's not new to the environment here at Inter. I'm happy with all of my strikers, I have trust in all of them".

Have you ever had two goalkeepers as strong as these?

"We're really lucky to have them. We know what Handanovic brings, while Onana is a smart guy, he's doing really and has integrated himself into the group very easily. He will get his opportunities this year, he's another important option for us".

You won two trophies last year: do you think this year will be a successful one?

"It has to be; we are Inter and we must always aim to be the best. The squad is almost the same, we've brought in Lukaku and some very practical players, like Mkhitaryan, Onana, Asllani and Bellanova, who all have quality and a desire to improve. We'll strive for the best. Last year, we had a fantastic season winning two trophies, and only missed out on the Scudetto by two points. Our opponents are once again strong and have invested a lot, but they also know that Inter will be fighting hard alongside them for the whole year".

What did last season teach you?

"We've analysed and looked back on the season. The images from the last game of the season has remained etched in everyone's mind. But the Nerazzurri family has stood by us and supported us. Last season, there was a better team than us in the league. This season, we need to do better".

How do you feel with respect to a year ago?

"I know a lot more, I have a year's work behind me with this squad. Last year, I inherited a line-up with the same tactical way as I like to play, and I had new players who I loved working with, as well as the supporters who supported us through the whole of the season. Many teams will fight to win, but my focus is only on Lecce. They are a newly-promoted side, playing in front of an enthusiastic home support. Furthermore, they've been playing together for a whole year and are coached well. We'll have to play at our best to get the win".

How have the new guys settled in?

"They're all working really hard and making it difficult for me to decide the starting eleven. I still have a few doubts about how we'll line up but I'll reveal all tomorrow".

What's your strongest feeling ahead of the start of this new season?

"I'm feeling very proud after last season's achievements from the players, the whole team and the fans. We were all in it as one; we worked hard to win some silverware and we managed to do it, but we now need to look to the future. This season is going to be an odd one for everyone and will bring something completely new for us coaches. For those who don't go to the World Cup, there will be a kind of second pre-season, whilst for the others, they are going to have a very busy and difficult schedule".

Have you been working on any particular aspects?

"This past week, we've reduced the workload and prepared the lads to be in the best shape possible for tomorrow. We have played many games against international teams at a high intensity because we know that we have to kick off the season in the best possible way".

Could D'Ambrosio be an option in the middle of the defence?

"We're expecting a new face in, but Skriniar has played in that role many times and done well. Danilo and also Darmian are very important players for us who can cover various positions. Speaking now, Skriniar is most likely to play in the centre of defence without De Vrij".

Darmian and Dimarco played in inverted roles in the last friendly game; is this experiment likely to continue? How is Gosens?

"I wanted to try a few different things seeing as Gosens was out for three or four days. I changed those two to the left, but Robin is back well again. I don't think there are any doubts that Gosens will start on the left tomorrow. He's well and working hard every day to improve".

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