Empoli Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli puts sentiment aside against Inter and his old colleague Luciano Spalletti. “I hope at the final whistle we can both be happy.”
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The Tuscans clambered out of the bottom three last week, so will be safe if they beat Inter, or at least match Genoa’s result against Fiorentina.
“It’ll be an exciting challenge, we are battling for an important objective and that is always to be welcomed,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
Inter also need a victory to be sure of Champions League qualification, but it’s a duel between old friends, as Andreazzoli was Spalletti’s assistant manager at Udinese and Roma for a total of 299 competitive games.
“I hope that at the final whistle we can both be happy. It’s true, we know each other very well, but it’s the players who go out there on to the pitch and not the tacticians. Our importance is relative, as most of our work is done before the 90 minutes.
“Inter are a big club in a stadium that can contain double the population of Empoli. It’ll be tough, but also wonderfully exciting. It doesn’t happen every day.
“Their crowd will be added motivation to do better, but I am afraid the atmosphere could affect the referee. The officials have an important role and mistakes can happen, but seeing as I fear the situation could involuntarily influence the referee, I demand to be treated the same way as Inter tomorrow.”
“I don’t even want to think about the possibility they’ll change attitude based on what we are doing. I presume and expect that it’ll all go regularly. It’s not an issue I can worry about.”
Empoli had seemed relatively doomed only a few weeks ago, but a run of three consecutive victories left fate in their own hands.
It’s possible the situation would’ve been different had Andreazzoli not been sacked in November only to be recalled to replace Beppe Iachini on March 13.
“We perhaps could’ve done more, but we are satisfied with how we’ve done. Personally, I feel regret that I had to interrupt my work, as I would’ve liked another three or four rounds.”