Sunday March 18 2012
Ranieri: 'It's just a bad Inter year'

Claudio Ranieri insists it is “just a bad year” for Inter and they must “not take our fans for a ride by stating objectives.”

The Nerazzurri had a penalty saved for the second consecutive match and were held to a 0-0 home draw by Atalanta.

“There is disappointment, as we want to do well and can’t seem to manage it, but we won’t let go. The President came to the locker room and fired us up at half-time,” said Ranieri.

“I can’t ask for any more from the lads, as we knew in the second half we’d suffer the fatigue from the Champions League game midweek.

“Atalanta clam up and go on the counter, we did well to allow them nothing for 80-odd minutes. We missed a penalty, which we could’ve done without, but now we have to continue planning for the next game.”

Inter are now in joint sixth place on a par with Catania and Roma, who have a game in hand.

“We have to take it one match at a time without taking our fans for a ride by stating objectives. We’ve got to continue with this professional attitude and sense of devotion to Inter. The group is very united.

“Diego Forlan did not refuse to come off the bench. It was a tactical thing we were discussing,” assured the Coach.

“We can’t really invent anything else. We do create chances, albeit while struggling, and we need to be better at converting them into goals. We know this is a difficult year, but the lads are battling and I am happy to train this group.

“They continue to believe in what they are doing and work very hard in training. Some years everything goes in your favour, in others it all goes wrong. This season we’ve failed to convert half our penalties.

“We are aware this is a bad period for Inter, but what are we going to do, all go home? This is the situation and all I can do is try to get the best out of the squad. A Coach must give a direction and determination.”

Atalanta also had penalty appeals for a late Lucio tackle on Manolo Gabbiadini.

“The penalty? You could give it and you could not give it, depending on the referee. Lucio didn’t get the ball at first with the sliding tackle, but he did touch it afterwards. I’ve seen far worse, anyway.”

Ranieri was asked about Thiago Motta’s January transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, which has severely limited their midfield options.

“We all said Thiago Motta wouldn’t go, but he rang the President every day and cried that he wanted to leave, so he wasn’t going to be of any use to us. He did play against Napoli and gave away a penalty, so some critics said he did it on purpose.”