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Stramaccioni still eyeing Champions League spot

SoccerNews in Serie A 9 Mar 2013

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Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni has spoken of his side’s desire to qualify for the Champions League.

Stramaccioni’s men have been disappointing so far this term under Stramaccioni, lying fourth in Serie A, four points adrift off the third Champions League qualification place.

They have also failed to perform to a high level in the Europa League after a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Tottenham in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.

Despite their recent struggles, Stramaccioni said the target was still to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.

“Inter are Inter and compete for every objective, but from the first day we’ve known the club’s real target was to get back into the Champions League,” Stramaccioni told reporters.

Stramaccioni was unwilling to make excuses for his team despite the injury crisis which has affected their campaign.

“It is only normal there are going to be difficulties. This season has seen ups and downs, but until the injury crisis set in we were a point off the leaders,” he said.

“We’ve had numerous problems that affected our campaign, though we don’t want to use them as an alibi.

“We are building for the future here, both in the current side and on the transfer market. You can’t put everything up for debate at the first defeat.”

Stramaccioni moved to defend Antonio Cassano following allegations the enigmatic forward is overweight, disillusioned and unfocused.

“Cassano is not overweight. In his last tests, he was in line with our projections,” he said.

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