Sunday January 21 2018
Spalletti stands up for Inter players

Luciano Spalletti stood up for Inter players, particularly Davide Santon, after a 1-1 draw with Roma left them in fourth place.

The Nerazzurri snatched a late draw with Matias Vecino’s header after Stephan El Shaarawy had taken advantage of Santon’s error on a long Alisson clearance.

“Santon doesn’t have to apologise to anyone. It’s easy when you’re sitting on your comfy sofa, quite another when running for 90 minutes alongside El Shaarawy,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“He’s a good lad, he trains well and mistakes can happen, especially on a ball that came that far. Nobody else helped him on that either, so it’s not as if he was alone. He has no reason to apologise.

“The real issue here is that we are Inter and we must have the courage to fight it out with sides like Roma, Lazio and Napoli for a top four finish. We have to take responsibility and make things happen. We can’t just wait for the train to go past and grab it. I won’t see us timorous or apologetic.

“Samir Handanovic didn’t make the saves that Alisson did, so we played well. We made some errors in the quick passing and knew that Roma would be aggressive in their pressing game.

“We practice these things in training, but if they don’t come off in a match situation, that will inevitably damage self-esteem. We have to work on what we are and what we do best, not losing the ball cheaply.”

Spalletti was ready to haul off Roberto Gagliardini before half-time to bring on Marcelo Brozovic, but didn’t get the opportunity to complete the move and had to wait until the restart.

“You reporters are good at shuffling player profiles. It’s easy to say Gagliardini is deeper, but when Radja Nainggolan runs at him, that’s a different situation. I have no specific choices, I choose the line-up based on what I see during the week.

“You need a balance in the side, to defend well and protect the defence, but also to move the ball forward and have the courage to move it quickly into dangerous areas.”

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