Saturday December 7 2013
Mazzarri on Inter and Cassano

Walter Mazzarri wants Inter to stop fumbling leads as they host Parma and explains why Antonio Cassano was sold.

San Siro hosts the Serie A match at 19.45 GMT on Sunday, click here for a preview.

“Parma are an excellent side and we’ve seen what they have done recently,” said the Coach in his Press conference, referring to a 1-0 win away to Napoli.

“If we look at their squad player by player then we can see they are very strong, while as a team they play good football. We’ve got to face this with the right attitude, or we risk putting in a bad performance.

“Now in Serie A there is no such thing as an easy game. Having seen our recent performances, it is disappointing we were unable to get better results. We’re probably not mature enough to control a lead or finish off a game, but that is part of the growth process we always talked about.

“I think most of the time this side has played good football and was organised. We have scored more goals than any other team and need to work on those little elements that can take us to challenge for certain objectives.”

Andrea Ranocchia is dropping down the pecking order to be replaced by Rolando in defence.

“I make my evaluations and the important thing is that we have different players who can belong in the starting XI. It is always better for a Coach to have choices and many players who can provide guarantees.”

Inter have been linked with a January offer for PSG striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, who worked with Mazzarri at Napoli.

“A while ago we exchanged messages, as we had and still have a good rapport. He was sold to one of the most important clubs in Europe thanks to his time at Napoli. He’s a great player, an exceptional lad and I can’t add any more than that.”

President Erick Thohir hinted Mazzarri had asked him to sign a new forward during the January transfer window, but the Coach refused to confirm that.

“At the moment we are using at most two strikers, in our tactical set-up. Ricky Alvarez and Fredy Guarin can be used in attacking roles too. With Diego Milito and Mauro Icardi injured for most of the season, we are still the most prolific team, so I wouldn’t call it an emergency situation.

“Let us get to January first, as there are three very important games and we’ll evaluate the situation then. We’ve tried to start a different era and choose young players, re-evaluating others, so for now as far as I am concerned we can end the season with this squad. Then it depends on what objectives the club is targeting and opportunities there are.

“There are highly prestigious clubs, like Inter, who start from Year Zero because there has been a revamp. It’s not as if just because we are called Inter, we have to finish in the top three. It takes time to go through the process and build those foundations.

“I am creating a mentality within the players worthy of Inter, that they must always aim to win. If you have less experienced players, it’s normal that will take more time for them to become accustomed to playing at this level. The Inter shirt weighs on their shoulders and any draw becomes a reason for criticism. We’ve got it all to lose at this level.”

The Parma game means Cassano returns to San Siro for the first time since he was exchanged for Ishak Belfodil.

“Look at their birth dates and you’ll already see the difference,” noted Mazzarri when asked why FantAntonio had left.

“If you asked me why Cassano is no longer here, it’s my same response as when I first arrived: my job was to get the most out of the players. I didn’t send anyone away and those who wanted to remain would be used based on the various situations.

“Will I say hello to Cassano tomorrow? I have no problems. Ask him if he does. Cassano has played against me many times. When he’s in good shape, he’s a player of great class and you mustn’t give him the space to hurt you. We know full well how talented and creative he is, so will try to limit his influence.”

On Wednesday the Nerazzurri qualified for the Coppa Italia Round of 16, but went from 3-0 up to a tense 3-2 final score against Serie B minnows Trapani.

“I always ask the most from my players, as I want to win every game playing good football. Since the start of the campaign we have already been in that situation six or seven times. If we do go in front, we must know how to control the game. Either you defend the lead solidly, or you try to finish the game off when you have the chance. If you do neither, then you end up like we did over the last few matches.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with