Inter head into their Serie A meeting with Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris with the chance to take another step towards Champions League qualification, but Roberto Mancini is not feeling any pressure to secure it this season.
Inter gained ground on third place at the weekend, with their brilliant 2-0 victory over Napoli preceding Roma’s 3-3 draw away at Atalanta.
Mauro Icardi and Marcelo Brozovic scored the goals as Mancini’s side produced an excellent display against the Scudetto chasers, closing the gap to Roma to just four points.
The victory provides a timely confidence boost for Inter, with just five matches left for them to catch Luciano Spalletti’s team in third place.
Although the Inter boss hopes they can do just that and have something to show for their efforts this season, he feels missing out on a Champions League spot would not amount to a failure.
Instead, he is happy to look at the campaign as a stepping stone towards challenging for major honours again within the next three years.
“Beating Napoli obviously gives us a massive boost and on Wednesday we’ll see if we’re able to build on the good work we did on Saturday as we visit a tough ground at Genoa,” Mancini told Rai’s La Domenica.
“We need to wait until the end of the season to see where we finish
. We hope to get third place but even if we don’t, I think it will have been a positive season because we’re improving and we’ve identified some key players. “
Inter have suffered defeat in their previous two matches away at Genoa, with their last win there coming in December 2011, when Yuto Nagatomo netted the only goal.
After suffering a 4-1 defeat against Capri at the weekend, Genoa striker Leonardo Pavoletti is keen for the team to recover the form that saw them win four of their five matches prior to that heavy loss.
“After a performance like that, we need to regain the momentum that had enabled us to play good matches and go up several positions,” he said.
“In Modena, we failed to put in place the spirit which fuelled the run. It is important for the group to stick together and overcome the match with Carpi.”
Mancini has no new injury concerns, but Tomas Rincon (hamstring) has joined Mattia Perin (knee) on the sidelines for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side.
Former Inter duo Goran Pandev and Nicolas Burdisso (both hamstring) will miss out on the chance to take on their former employers.
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