Saturday September 1 2012
Strama: 'Zeman's like my father'

Zdenek Zeman was coaching before I was born,” but Andrea Stramaccioni but warns Inter want to beat his former club Roma tomorrow evening.

The Coach, nicknamed ‘the Italian Andre Villas Boas,’ made his career as youth team tactician at his hometown club from 2005 to 2011.

“Am I looking for some sort of revenge? No, zero,” assured Strama in his Press conference. Click here for a match preview.

“If I am at Inter, then I owe it to the six years I spent at Roma. That is the truth. I will always thank the Giallorossi, as I became a professional at Trigoria.

“I was thrown into the mix early and am learning many things by experiencing them. Obviously I lack experience, but I am trying to absorb information at the speed of light from all sources.

“Zeman is the same age as my father, he was already training before I was born and remains a great Coach. For a young tactician like me, he set the bar for a certain way to play football and I admire him a great deal. We will try to win the game, as always, but Zeman is inimitable.

“In any case, tomorrow we are taking on Roma and not just Zeman. It’ll be an important test aside from the opposition, as for the first time this season we are welcoming a top team to San Siro. We have the utmost respect for Roma, but we are Inter and we want to win regardless.”

The Nerazzurri got through to the Europa League this week, but mainly thanks to their away record, having scraped a 2-0 home defeat to Hajduk Split and last-gasp 2-2 draw with Vaslui.

“It was wonderful to see the fans so understanding of the situation when we were in a moment of difficulty. Once we went down to 10 men after half an hour, it was looking bad and the crowd gave us incredible strength. It almost seemed as if the fans were winning back the ball for us. It’s a good sign and we’ve got to keep that going.”

Inter have revamped over the summer with the likes of Rodrigo Palacio, Antonio Cassano and Alvaro Pereira.

Injured for tomorrow night’s game are Samir Handanovic, Dejan Stankovic, Ricky Alvarez, Joel Obi and MacDonald Mariga.

“We had an intelligent transfer strategy,” continued Stramaccioni. “We set the foundations for an Inter that wants to become great again, all within a smart financial structure, seeing as we cut €40m from our wage bill.

“Juventus have more certainties this season, whereas we are at the start of a journey. Tomorrow represents an important test, but it is still too early to say whether the result would make us Scudetto contenders or rule us out of the race completely.

“We need to seek consistency, as we have changed more than any of the other teams.”