Wednesday, January 17, 2018

These guys have done exceptional things – Spalletti plays down Inter dip

SoccerNews in Serie A 29 Dec 2017

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Luciano Spalletti has backed Inter to bounce back from a dip in form that has seen his side lose their last three matches in all competitions.

A 1-0 extra-time Coppa Italia quarter-final loss to rivals AC Milan on Wednesday followed Serie A defeats to Udinese and Sassuolo.

Spalletti’s side have scored only one goal in their last five matches in all competitions, having been the early pacesetters with a 16-game unbeaten run at the start of the season.

But Spalletti refuted suggestions Inter are in crisis, with Lazio the visitors to San Siro on Saturday.

“These guys have done exceptional things, because we have done everything alone, we have a chance to find a solution,” Spalletti told reporters on Friday. 

“It is in these moments that you are able to know in depth your individual qualities and find the strength to react to be more ready and reactive in search of the goal you have set.

“We have done exceptional things, so we must keep in mind who we are and where we come from, knowing that we are strong, if we want to be, we will never have to be in trouble.”

And Spalletti, who left Roma to take over at Inter for the new season, suggested his side’s drop in form has deepened his feelings for the club.

“The wins made me an Interista, but this tough period made me completely fall in love with this club,” Spalletti added.

“The players are a bit discouraged right now, I need to make them realise who they are: strong players who play in a great club thanks to their qualities.

“I hear talk about Lazio and Roma, who are having an exceptional season, about the two others [Napoli and Juventus] who are extra-terrestrial teams, and it seems to me that we’re in the same bracket and no one has really given us anything.”

Mauro Icardi is among the Inter stars to have been linked with a move away in the January transfer window, with Real Madrid reportedly keen on the Nerazzurri captain.

But Spalletti insisted Inter will keep their squad together over the second half of the season, unless players are not fully committed to the club.

“If someone says they want to leave in January, there’s a mental deadline and you can’t give what’s expected of you,” Spalletti said.

“From there your level drops. Anyone who shows me that they’re not connected to the work they have to do has to know they’re not part of my plans.

“That’s not the right way to be in a group that wants to do its job well, and whoever does that is not an Interista to the end. If I have something to say to someone then I’ll do it – and I haven’t had to so far.

“A player will leave if we decide he leaves, otherwise he’ll stay and get his head down for two games, because if he thinks about the deadline he’s wasting his time.

“In January it’s right that those who leave will be the ones we say, not those who want to leave. In that same regard, it seems to us that we’re the ones who manage them, not agents or other clubs. Let us accept what we consider to be fair.”

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