Inter coach Claudio Ranieri has refused to blame the side’s problems on Wesley Sneijder as they prepare to face Catania on Sunday.
The Giuseppe Meazza outfit have lost seven out of their past eight fixtures in all competitions, slumping to seventh in the Serie A in the process.
Sneijder has failed to hit the heights of previous campaigns, although injuries have plagued his season, and Ranieri believes the club’s other problems are to blame for their fall from grace.
“Sneijder has to play behind one or two strikers and be allowed to invent his football there. It’s not right to say he is a problem. Let’s just say it’s not his best season. He needs to be dealt with in a certain way,” Ranieri said on Saturday.
“Problems must be overcome and confidence is important. There are problems at Inter, otherwise they wouldn’t have fired Gian Piero Gasperini but I must point out things were different when I arrived.”
Despite his defence of the Dutchman, reports emerging from Italy on Saturday state Sneijder will be dropped this weekend along with the under-performing Diego Forlan as Ranieri looks to make the changes to turn around his side’s fortunes.
With his team in dreadful form, the coach’s position at the club is said to be shaky yet the former Roma man is not thinking about whether he will be given his marching orders.
“I do not see this as an ‘in or out’ game. I have the full faith of the club and am determined to do well. I don’t feel that I am sitting an exam. When I arrived the situation was even more critical. We had our backs to the wall, but I was just as positive and determined as I am now,” he said.
“We have to play as if this is a final – not for me, but in terms of how we approach it. We have a problem and must not so much resolve it as overcome it with courage, determination and shaking off fear.”