Saturday November 23 2013
Mazzarri: 'Inter aren't distracted'

Walter Mazzarri praised new Inter President Erick Thohir and warned against “distraction” with Bologna.

The Nerazzurri visit the Stadio Dall’Ara on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“There are many variables to take into consideration, especially after international duty when players have been travelling all over the world,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Bologna’s numbers don’t look good, but they still have quality players like Alessandro Diamanti, Rolando Bianchi, Panagiotis Kone and Michele Pazienza, who was with me at Napoli. As I always say, we have to focus on ourselves, as if we do what we need to do well, then we’ve got a better chance of getting a result. That has to be our mentality.”

Andrea Ranocchia is suspended and Walter Samuel injured, so Hugo Campagnaro’s potential comeback becomes even more important.

“I want to go slowly because I’ve seen over his career that sometimes when he seems ready for a comeback he then feels pain. He hasn’t played in a long time, so we’ll have to perform some tests today.

“Marco Andreolli was also out until yesterday, so neither he nor Campagnaro could play 90 minutes at the tempo we require. If I did choose one of them from the start, I’d have to factor in a substitution.”

The experiment of using Mateo Kovacic in a trequartista role seems to have been abandoned in favour of Fredy Guarin there.

“My kind of football is to provide few reference points to opponents, so we can shuffle things round when needed and use the player most suited to that role at that moment. I can vary positions even during a game.”

The last week has been dominated by the arrival of new President and majority shareholder Thohir, who took over from Massimo Moratti.

“He made a good impression and seemed to know everything about me. It can only be positive when a President comes in with such enthusiasm and knowledge. I think Thohir, like any good businessman, looked at my CV, what I achieved in my career and how I approach the job.

“The players have been focused entirely on the pitch and giving our best for the club colours, regardless of who is at the helm. The directors have done well to isolate the team from any major changes.

“I’m not looking for an alibi, but there is the unconscious risk that the players could be distracted after international duty and the club handover to a new owner. Of course we all work to prevent that from happening, but the risk is always there.”

Thohir even compared Mazzarri to Treble-winning tactician Jose Mourinho.

“History says Mourinho is a great. I am not disappointed if someone compares me to his character, but everyone is different. I have 10 years of Serie A to speak for me. If people want to compare me to a great Coach, then I can only be happy with that.

“One of the aspects that pleased me the most was that Thohir pointed out the team comes first. Individuals only excel when they are working within a unit to make the team better.”

Inter are currently in fourth place, seven points adrift of leaders Roma, but have the benefit of no midweek European commitments.

“When a new project begins, I like to see consistency, so it’s too early to say what we can do. We must take it game by game to understand what we could one day achieve.

“The results from now until the end of December won’t be decisive, but they will be more indicative than the ones we’ve got so far. At the midway point of a season, you get a better idea of what level you are at.

“If a side wants to be competitive at certain levels, then they cannot get the wrong approach against the smaller clubs, as important points can be dropped there.”

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