Walter Mazzarri gave an extensive interview on his Inter adventure, cheering on Napoli and why he “won’t settle for third place.”
The new Nerazzurri Coach sat down with La Gazzetta dello Sport to cover numerous topics on his past, present and future.
“It’s difficult to explain the incredible enthusiasm with which I’ve been welcomed here. Probably the people understand what I’ve done in my career, because at times you are more appreciated outside your own club,” he noted.
“We still need to work on tactics, the timing and making the movement almost automatic. I hope we’ll see my Inter at the start of the season, but it might take until October.
“I don’t think the enthusiasm will be counter-productive, as the fans understand what our possibilities are. I underline the most important word in our project: reconstruction.”
Some suggest being out of Europe this season will help Inter in the Scudetto race, but Mazzarri is keeping his options open.
“President Massimo Moratti has not asked me to achieve any specific target. Would I settle for third place? I never settle beforehand, out of principle.
“I hope we can get back to winning as soon as possible, but I don’t promise things I can’t deliver. There are teams with something more than us right now. Juventus won the last two titles, Napoli finished second, Milan third and Fiorentina fourth before their recent reinforcements.
“Having said all that, Inter will challenge everyone and hope to overtake them.”
Mazzarri was asked about his former club Napoli, who have raised their ambitions with new boss Rafa Benitez.
“If Napoli is a long-term project today, then what was it when I arrived and the team was in the bottom half of the table? I took them to qualify for the Champions League twice and won the Coppa Italia.
“It has been said I never mentioned the word ‘Scudetto,’ but the truth is I tried to avoid proclamations in order to protect the team. I am accustomed to helping a side grow and cultivate its ambitions. It’s also true that if Napoli have €124.5m to spend now it’s because I got the best out of players like Pocho Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani.
“The fans, players and Napoli remain in my heart, so I will cheer them on in the Champions League. If someone has forgotten in a month what we did together over four years, then I can’t do anything about that.
“Would I consider an experience abroad? I won’t rule it out, but first I’d like to win with Inter.”