Saturday March 16 2013
Strama: 'Pressure on Inter'

Andrea Stramaccioni admits he is “worried” about how Inter will perform against Sampdoria just days after their extra time efforts with Tottenham.

The Nerazzurri crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday evening on away goals, 4-4 on aggregate, despite a 4-1 victory over Spurs.

“The physical and psychological fitness levels are certainly the aspect that worry me the most, I have to be honest,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Samp represent the fifth match in a very intense two-week cycle for us. We had to almost always use the same players in that period.”

President Massimo Moratti said he was “proud” of the team after their efforts against Tottenham and confirmed his faith in Stramaccioni.

“That is fundamental for me, just like the support he gives me every time. However, an even more important signal was sent by the players. Thursday was a step forward in many aspects. I never felt that the players had ‘dropped’ me and this is why I always defended them.

“I always felt that I was under pressure since the first day I took this job. I know that I represent an exception in Italian football and maybe even on a European level. Every pressure on me is quadrupled, but I realised that straight away. All I can do is give 101 per cent in every training session and every game.

“The future? What counts for me is the present, as there are still 10 games to go in Serie A, like a mini-tournament. Now we must ride the wave of enthusiasm from that performance against Spurs, as the mind affects the legs much more than people realise.”

Antonio Cassano put in a sparkling performance against Tottenham and tomorrow evening visits his former Sampdoria teammates.

“I think it will be a different game to all the others for Antonio. He is still well-loved in the city of Genoa,” continued Stramaccioni.

Having Walter Samuel back in the squad is crucial, as he is a real leader. I have great faith in Mateo Kovacic and strongly pushed for his transfer. We are working together to build the midfield of the future, of which he is a part.”

There are consistent reports that Inter already have a deal with Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi for next season, while Andrea Poli and Angelo Palombo had loan spells at San Siro.

“Icardi is a modern centre-forward with a great nose for goal. It’s rare to see that so clearly in one so young. Samp are above all dangerous at home and it is thanks to their strikers. Icardi’s future? It is not useful to talk about that right now.

“I was fortunate enough to work with Poli and he was part of my plans before the loan expired. I don’t know how the negotiations went. I am happy he is doing well.”

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