Andrea Stramaccioni sees Inter’s victory away to Cluj as “an important sign” and is ready to face both Milan and Tottenham Hotspur.
“This victory is an important sign and in my view will have a positive effect on us,” said the Coach after a 3-0 triumph in Romania, 5-0 on aggregate.
The first leg of the Round of 16 is at White Hart Lane on March 7, with the decider at San Siro on March 14.
“Tottenham are a great team with players of an international level, but we are Inter and are starting to breathe the air of the Europe that matters.”
Spurs scraped through to this stage after a last-gasp equaliser to draw 1-1 away to Lyon this evening.
“We were very angry and bitter after our 4-1 defeat to Fiorentina, as that Inter wasn’t even a distant relative of my team,” continued Stramaccioni.
“Antonio Cassano was excellent this evening, sending many teammates through on goal and proving he’s in good shape.
“I’m glad we put in a good performance tonight, but we are again unlucky with Andrea Ranocchia picking up a knee injury. We absolutely could’ve done without that.”
It is unclear whether Ranocchia will be able to recover in time to face Milan on Sunday evening, but the initial prognosis is not encouraging.
“It’s a Derby, we start from 0-0 and know full well the Rossoneri are in fine form, but games must be played and we can only really talk about them after the final whistle.
“This team does not want to give in. Sunday was a bad bump in the road, but now we will play the Derby with our heads held very high.”