NEWS
Saturday May 7 2011
Leonardo rules out Sneijder

Leonardo won't let Inter get distracted against Fiorentina by the Coppa Italia semi-final, but confirms Wesley Sneijder is still out of action.

The Nerazzurri's last chance of silverware under this Coach is the Coppa and they have a 1-0 advantage from the first leg against Roma.

“Our targets have not yet been reached and so Fiorentina are just as important as Roma if we want to secure second place. We've had two whole weeks to work on training and I doubt we'll have a problem facing two games in three days.

“Sneijder will certainly not be there, while Walter Samuel has trained regularly and his condition is being evaluated day by day,” explained the Coach.

“Diego Milito had three thigh strains in a season, so it's impossible for a player to give his best in those conditions. As for Giampaolo Pazzini, I don't agree with those who say he solved our problems by himself against Cesena. He's always part of a squad.”

Pazzini came off the bench to bag a stoppage-time brace in that 2-1 victory and could well start against his former club.

“Fiorentina played in many different ways after Adrian Mutu picked up an injury, so now he is back they will change again and we've got to be ready for them,” continued Leonardo.

Tonight Milan could win the Scudetto if they avoid defeat to Roma, ending Inter's long reign.

“There is obviously bitterness that we weren't able to leapfrog those in front of us in the table, but whoever wins deserves it. That is always the case. We battled, dealt with the problems we had and pushed on, but what we are now is a reality. We are a team.

“Nobody is thinking about what could happen next season. We have a competitive squad capable of fighting on all fronts and that is what we did. You can say what you want, but we're second in Serie A, reached the Champions League quarter-finals and are challenging to win the Coppa Italia.

“If you look at it, Inter are one of the most consistent European teams of the campaign.”

Leonardo's own future has been under the spotlight with a great deal of speculation he could return to a directorial role, perhaps to make way for Jose Mourinho.

“I have no doubts over my future. I don't want to leave and have never said I did. I tell the media to consider why many Coaches linked with an Italian club say they don't want to come or don't want to return. There must be a reason...”

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES