Luciano Spalletti told Inter they can have no “excuses” against Atalanta, including injuries and Italy’s World Cup disappointment.
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“The players often speak in the locker room about how important it is playing at San Siro, as we feel the embrace of the supporters and in turn try to entertain them,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“In such a modern city as Milan, it’s great to see them experience the stadium in an old-fashioned way. From the bench, it feels like you’re in an echo chamber, as I hear love for Inter coming from all angles.”
San Siro was not kind to Italy on Monday night, as they were held 0-0 by Sweden and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Max Allegri said he will rest Gigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli so the Juventus veterans can get over this devastating blow, but Spalletti has a different approach.
“The Italians in the squad are certainly disappointed, but we will not lay out the red carpet for excuses. We can’t let anyone take the day off. We cannot create distractions. It is important we face every match in the same way and if anything use these international disappointments as further motivation.
“The World Cup elimination is something that hasn’t happened since 1958, so it is a new era and we are unprepared for what comes next. We can’t pretend or hide away, acting as if Giampiero Ventura was the only guilty party. We must all take responsibility and make Italian football better.”
Inter have certainly improved since last season, and Spalletti has chosen the same starting XI for six games in a row.
“We needed to find some guarantees to rely on. Once the solidity has been found, we can ‘spread out’ the squad, especially when we start to have midweek games in December. The other teams are going at a strong pace, but Inter won’t let up either and I am glad to see a team both on the field and in their minds.
“Atalanta aren’t a potential banana skin for Inter because that would assume we weren’t expecting them to be tough, whereas we know full well how dangerous they are.
“We must immediately focus on the physicality of our game, otherwise it’s going to be extremely tough. Atalanta lift their game in head-to-head duels, so we have to create spaces to play in.”
Mauro Icardi missed international duty with Argentina due to a knee inflammation, but the striker is available as Spalletti pointed out the “swelling has gone down.”
Finally, Spalletti was asked if he would be in the running for the Italy job after Giampiero Ventura’s dismissal.
“Thank you for thinking of me, but I have a job now. I would like to do it eventually, but not now, as first I have to work well with Inter. If you ask me who I see as the right man for the role of CT, I’d say Carlo Ancelotti. You need the best there is and he is the best.”