Walter Mazzarri warned Inter must “get the points against Catania by any means,” but dropped Fredy Guarin.
The Nerazzurri host bottom of the table Catania on Sunday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“Catania are going through a difficult period, but we must remember Italian football is unusual and a side can be transformed from one game to the next. Considering their squad and last year’s results, I thought they’d be higher up the standings,” he said in a Press conference.
“We must focus only on getting the points we missed in recent outings. Aside from playing well against Genoa, if you don’t score the goals then you don’t get the results. I ask the lads not think about anything other than to play our football and being more ruthless in front of goal. I hope then that incidents can go our way this time.
“Considering the way recent results developed, we must seek three points by any means. If the results don’t come, then people don’t evaluate the overall performances. You can play the best football, but without results it’s just not enough.”
The week was dominated by the chaos surrounding Guarin, whose swap deal with Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic was abandoned on Tuesday at the last minute.
“For a series of reasons, having spoken to the lad, I won’t call him up for tomorrow’s game. All my energy this week has been focused on concentrating the team that trained over the last few days to focus only on Catania. That means a player needs a clear head and no other thoughts in his mind.
“I only want to talk about Catania and want the newspapers to talk only about this game. I can’t wait for the transfer window to close. It feels like people have been talking about the market around Inter all season long. It is certainly better for the squad and these players if they don’t have to deal with all this talk around them.
“This week I analysed the match in Genoa and wanted to be sure everyone had the same ideas as me, so I spoke to the group and to each individual player. I urged them not to read the papers and to isolate themselves from everything outside the training camp. I told them if we repeat that performance but work on three or four aspects, then we’ll get points against Catania.
“I think the players are more convinced and determined than me to prove themselves. I asked for any input they had and am convinced this squad will have a great ending to the season, as there was such unity of intents and belief in the project.”
Inter’s recent crisis has been affected by defensive errors and the failure to take their chances in attack.
“It’s true there have been banal errors, but these are moments when we pay for every tiny mistake. The only way to counter that is with more determination, concentration and sporting aggression. I see no other solution.”
President Erick Thohir will fly in this weekend from Indonesia to watch the game at San Siro, though fans criticised the patron for being too distant from the day-to-day running of the club.
“His presence can only be positive. To be honest, even if he is far away, we still have contact with all the components of the club and everyone has great faith in each other. If he comes here it’s good for the players and the fans, but as a Coach I still pass on those ideas that represent the club. In my career I never particularly needed the patron on the field with me, as we have team managers, directors etc.”
Mazzarri was asked whether there were problems between Rodrigo Palacio and Diego Milito, as several times against Genoa they went for goal rather than passed.
“At Napoli I had two players who were convinced one would never pass to the other. I watched back the footage to be objective and could tell they simply didn’t spot the other player. Here at Inter the players are anything but egotistical, as they are eager to play with each other and can’t wait to get on the field. It happens that in the match you’re not sharp and don’t make the right pass.
“I tell the players that if they don’t deliver on the pitch, then I am authorised to look into every aspect, including their private lives. We performed physical tests this week and they are all perfectly fine. All we need is that sharpness and clear head to make the right decisions on the field.”
This week Thohir sent out a message that Inter had to “roll our sleeves up” and work even harder, which is not a problem for Mazzarri.
“Anyone who knows me can say I never rest. When things go badly, I have to work even harder. I don’t live for the satisfaction of victory, but rather because a win gives me about 15 hours of calm. The quantity of work is not an issue, though the quality is for others to judge.
“The fans love Inter and understand the situation. They know if a player is giving 100 per cent, then hearing the support of the crowd can make him give 101 per cent.”