Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Inter in a good place despite Coppa Italia exit, says Icardi

SoccerNews in Serie A 31 Jan 2017

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Mauro Icardi says Inter proved their mental strength by fighting until the end in their 2-1 Coppa Italia quarter-final defeat to Lazio and thinks they remain on course for a strong season.

Inter’s nine-match winning streak came to an end thanks to Felipe Anderson’s header and Lucas Biglia’s penalty, with Marcelo Brozovic’s goal coming too late at San Siro.

Miranda and Stefan Radu received red cards in a match which saw both sides finish with 10 men as head coach Stefano Pioli was haunted by former club Lazio.

Icardi, though, was pleased with Inter’s fight and feels they are still in strong shape to challenge for Champions League qualification despite crashing out of the cup.

“We played well at the start, but sometimes you can switch off once and concede straight away,” Icardi, who came on as a half-time substitute, told the club’s website.

“That is what happened, but we managed to keep pushing. Physically we performed well – we stayed in it until the last.

“We need to work on the little things we got wrong over the coming week. 

“Our aim is to get back into the Champions League and to do that we need to perform well in every game. 

“We are on a long winning streak in the league, our mindset is spot on and we are working hard, so I think we can beat anyone.”

Icardi also moved to wish Andrea Ranocchia well after the defender completed a deadline-day loan move from Inter to Premier League side Hull City.

The Inter captain said: “I would like to wish him the best of luck. He is a pro and has trained very well. I am sure he will prove his worth in England.”

Forward Rodrigo Palacio was keen to turn his attention back to Serie A, where Inter will meet champions Juventus in Turin on Sunday.

“We gave it our best shot and showed fighting spirit because we were desperate to go through,” he said.

“Now we need to focus on Juventus. We must produce a top performance to keep our run going – we are doing very well in the league.”

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