Claudio Ranieri insists that his future at Inter will not be dependant on the outcome of Tuesday’s Champions League tie with Marseille.
Ranieri’s job is said to be on the line if the Nerazzurri fail to overturn the 1-0 first leg deficit at San Siro tomorrow night.
“I’ve never had that sensation, never,” the former Chelsea boss stated on Monday. “My future counts for nothing. I’m the Inter Coach this season, I don’t see why my future should depend on tomorrow.”
The Stadio Meazza outfit have had a terrible 2012 so far and Friday’s win at Chievo was their first after five losses and two draws in Serie A.
“It’s not easy to lose for more than a month,” Ranieri noted. “The boys have always given their all though.
“They were lively until the very end in Verona too, where we scored late on and that was another message of intent. We fought until the end and we saw the light.”
Inter lost out to a late goal in France during the first tie of the last 16 encounter and they know what will be required in the return.
“We’ll look to score without conceding. We know about Marseille’s capabilities on the counter-attack, we know everything about them – their weaknesses and their strengths.
“It won’t be easy to go forwards in the Champions League as Marseille are a good team, but we will do our all to get past the next stage.
“There will be a full stadium, the fans will push us and I’m sure that the side won’t betray them.
“We have to stay focused, that will be fundamental as we can’t afford to concede. Our win has improved our morale, the squad is strong and we are in good shape.”
Ranieri added that he was pleased with Wesley Sneijder’s performance in Verona and he wants more of the same from the midfielder.
“He was moving the ball forward quickly and he had a great desire. When you have a player like that he can make the difference.
“I was right because the Sneijder that we saw before wasn’t the real thing. When Sneijder is on form then he can change the game for not just Inter, but any team.
“We know that we have to score to make up the deficit. The key thing is to not let Marseille score, we have to be smart.”
Ranieri is expected to play with a 4-3-1-2, but there are doubts over the fitness of Douglas Maicon and whether he’ll go for Diego Forlan or Giampaolo Pazzini in attack.
“Maicon didn’t train, he’s had a little fitness problem, but he’s OK and he’ll be part of the game tomorrow.
“Pazzini and Forlan are two different players, one needs to be served in a certain manner and the other differently. They are two excellent strikers and I’ll decide tomorrow who plays.”
Ranieri also called for the home fans to play their part in qualification.
“I know that a lot of tickets have been bought, I hope even more fans turn up. We have the need for their support – if they can get behind us it’ll be great and certainly an advantage.”