Leonardo insists he really did believe in an Inter comeback. “There is disappointment and that is difficult to control.”
The Nerazzurri had a mountain to climb after their 5-2 first leg defeat to Schalke, but also lost 2-1 in Germany to crash out of the Champions League quarter-final.
“I really did believe, because in the first half we took the initiative and controlled the game, but didn't have the opportunities to score,” said the Coach.
“I dreamed of a comeback and we could've done it with a goal at the start and being able to hit at the right time. Admittedly, we certainly could've done better in some situations.
“In the goals we conceded, especially at San Siro, we always had our defence at the ready and weren't caught on the break.
“A result like that is not only down to one thing. There were other factors that penalised us. There is disappointment and that is difficult to control.”
Leonardo's squad had managed an amazing comeback since he took over on Christmas Eve, including making up the Serie A encounters postponed for the Club World Cup, but faltered in the crucial games against Milan and Schalke.
“I think the team used up a lot of energy in these last few months, both in Serie A and the Champions League. We arrived at the decisive moment with problems.”
Leonardo introduced Goran Pandev for Dejan Stankovic at half-time, leaving Esteban Cambiasso on the bench for the entire match.
“At that point we needed to really push and so I preferred to put on a striker rather than a midfielder. I wanted to keep Javier Zanetti and Thiago Motta, because they are more accustomed to playing in that role.
“Was I disappointed by Wesley Sneijder? No, especially as in this situation it was difficult for everyone. He was very closely marked and suffered in those circumstances, then fatigue did the rest.”