Claudio Ranieri admits Inter's victory in Lille “was not pretty, but considering the circumstances the best we could do.”
The Nerazzurri were fresh from two consecutive Serie A defeats, but Giampaolo Pazzini's volley earned a tight 1-0 win that puts them top of their Champions League group.
“The win is important, as the lads are working hard with the right spirit. Everyone can have a bad period, but they want to turn the page. This result helps boost morale and we must build on that,” said the Coach.
“Thiago Motta might be a little slow in the legs, but he's fast in the brain, which is the most important thing in that role. The rest of his teammates helped him and he dictated the tempo along with Wesley Sneijder.
“We are trying to move the epicentre of the team higher up the field, but at this moment we are struggling and so I chose to sacrifice a striker to introduce another midfielder. Once we feel more secure, we will be more attacking and take the initiative to a greater degree.
“It wasn't pretty, but considering the situation at the moment, it was a great performance. Lille are in good shape and were unbeaten at home in the Champions League group phase, so we did what we possibly could.
“Sneijder and Thiago Motta only had three training sessions before this game and frankly it's lucky they didn't get injured. We have to keep going as best we can.”
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar also returned from injury and performed a series of crucial saves.
“Julio Cesar had a great match, but all over the field we were more attentive and concentrated than in Catania. This is a big step forward and the reason we kept a clean sheet.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.