Saturday, March 24, 2018

Kondogbia still adjusting to Italian football – Mancini

SoccerNews in Serie A 4 Oct 2015


Inter head coach Roberto Mancini feels that there is more to come from midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.

The big-money signing joined from Monaco in June, opting to link up with Mancini despite interest from city rivals AC Milan.

Kondogbia has started all seven of Inter’s Serie A fixtures so far this season, but failed to complete the 90 minutes for the fourth time as he was replaced just after the hour-mark in their 1-1 draw at Sampdoria on Sunday.

While the coach admitted his decision was influenced by a knock picked up by the Frenchman, he insisted that he can still improve upon his recent performances once he adjusts to his new surroundings.

“I had originally planned to take off Felipe Melo, but Geoffrey picked up a knock and I was forced to substitute him instead,” Mancini said in a post-match press conference.

“He will get better, he’s still getting used to Italian football which is more physical than in France.

“He’s still learning to play on the side of a midfield three, where he has a lot less space than when he played in a classic central midfield role.”

Inter required a late strike from another recent arrival, Ivan Perisic, who scored his first goal for the club in order to earn a point at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, drawing praise from the coach.

“Ivan Perisic got in behind on numerous occasions, even though he started the game in a central position,” Mancini added.

“He has the ability to do that job and he was fantastic today in the number 10 role.”

However, Mancini felt his side possibly deserved to take all three points from the game.

“At the start our own mistakes led to a couple of soft counter-attacks for Sampdoria,” he said.

“We were too slow and our movement was poor. We were much better after the break and perhaps we deserved to get the winner at the end.

“Nevertheless, they’re a great side and ultimately a draw is not a bad result.”


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