Luciano Spalletti returns to face his old club Roma, defends Radja Nainggolan and Inter’s performance against Tottenham. “Nothing is decisive yet.”
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“I’ve been doing this work for many years and returning to a city where I lived for many years and still have strong bonds is always a pleasure,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“We are going there to play in a very calm state of mind. I know you’re trying to put more pressure on us, but we put the pressure on ourselves, because we want to keep improving. We are still in with a good chance of qualifying from one of the toughest Champions League groups and are in good shape in Serie A, but don’t want to rest on our laurels.”
Spalletti confirmed that full-back Sime Vrsaljko “is available” for this game.
Roma are already nine points behind Inter, so could they definitively rule the Giallorossi out of the running for a top four finish already?
“Nothing is decisive yet. As I said earlier, Roma are one of those teams who could put together a run of important results. We’ve got to win as many games as possible without calculations. There are always dangers in Serie A and teams that can make life difficult.”
It would’ve been a very difficult atmosphere for Nainggolan, who has struggled since the transfer to Inter, but he is out injured.
“He had an injury in pre-season and that created complications going forward. The main issues he’s had recently have been relapses, so we need to take it calmly and relax the timing of his return to ensure these problems are resolved. He is the same player as always, just disappointed that he’s been unable to give his contribution to the team so far.”
Nainggolan came off before half-time in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, a performance that was criticised for being overly-negative from Inter.
“As far as I am concerned, the team put in a very good performance. We conceded a goal against the run of play, when we were creating our best opportunities.
“Clearly, against a side like Tottenham with their talented players, they can turn it around at any moment. The situation is all under control and I think we played better at Wembley than at San Siro, a match that we won 2-1.
“We’re on track, in fact we are well within the rosiest possible predictions. We only played below our level in the defeat to Atalanta, but this team is doing a great job.
“Roma have a lot of injury problems, but also a vast squad full of talent. It’s a very difficult fixture, precisely because Roma’s current position in the table does not reflect their quality of football.
“If now we go into the Olimpico as absolute favourites for the media, we’ll take that compliment, because it means we’ve made a massive advance. Don’t forget, when I came here, there was a 30-point gap between Inter and Roma, who regularly finished second or third, then played in the Champions League semi-final.”