Saturday February 2 2019
Spalletti: 'Inter not catastrophic'

Luciano Spalletti shrugged off reports Antonio Conte met with Inter directors ahead of the Bologna game and urged fans to forgive Ivan Perisic.

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The tension is growing around the Nerazzurri after their Coppa Italia exit to Lazio and one point from two Serie A games against Sassuolo and Torino.

“We analyse every game to see what went wrong and can be improved. Clearly, there are things we need to do better, but the team was always in the match and it was very balanced,” insisted the Coach in his Press conference.

“Inter could’ve gone through all the way until the final penalty of the shoot-out. We were eliminated from the Coppa Italia and the Champions League, which are important competitions, but we have to continue working on our idea of football and only after that structure is set can we aim at winning silverware.

“I realise fans have little patience left, because Inter haven’t won anything for many years, but I cannot shoulder all the blame for years in which Inter got further away from trophies rather than getting closer. It takes time and there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

The pressure on Spalletti grew after Conte was spotted outside the Inter HQ and said “no comment” when asked if he had met with Marotta.

“When you keep repeating the same story, it seems like you are trying to create controversy where there is none. Conte can go where he wants, it’s only right that Marotta tries to secure what is best for Inter’s future, but you are painting him in an unprofessional light. He knows what he’s doing and you are suggesting he is acting like an amateur and not a professional.

“For a start, why would he meet someone at the club headquarters? It doesn’t hold water. What people are writing is so ridiculous. It becomes a strategy at that point, not remotely credible.”

Spalletti continued to insist the drama around Inter’s campaign was overblown, including tension with Radja Nainggolan and Ivan Perisic.

“It’s a tricky moment, but it’s not catastrophic. Some of you are even trying to insinuate Nainggolan didn’t put the effort in to score his penalty in the shoot-out with Lazio. I see the team playing its football and losing only because of details.

“Perisic trained well, especially yesterday. His request to leave is water under the bridge. He is at our disposal and I am more than happy to play him if he shows me what I expect and what I know he can give.

“I read in the paper that Perisic was supposed to have been angry at me, but I was the one who kept playing him, despite what some might say. I see in this situation too that people are trying to stir up trouble.

“I said that it was better we didn’t confirm publicly that Perisic wanted to leave, but it wasn’t aimed specifically at Marotta, because all he did was deal honestly with a situation that had already leaked out. I wouldn’t have said it, but perhaps Marotta was trying to give Perisic responsibility for his actions.

“Perisic was attracted by certain figures he was told about and we understand that reaction. Now the transfer session is closed and we need to get going. I am convinced he’ll put that quality to use for Inter.

“I also urge the fans to stick together and protect the team. I realise Perisic was involved in some situations that might’ve irritated some, but he is our player and we must bring home results. Otherwise, we risk weakening ourselves and giving power to those who want to tear us apart. And there are many.”

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