Walter Mazzarri has mused on Inter’s tough run of form, but downplayed the necessity for Erick Thohir to be present at the club.
The Nerazzurri, their Coach and new owner are coming under increased scrutiny for a run of results over the past two months that has yielded just the one win in all competitions.
“From a sporting standpoint my morale is somewhat low, and Coaches are never happy when their teams lose,” Mazzarri has considered, in a long talk with Italia 1 programme Tiki Taka.
“When we began I knew it could be difficult guiding a club like Inter, especially considering the way things looked over the summer.
“But then we started very strongly, even beyond the expectations. Then we slowed down, which came down to some fault of our own, the way our opponents figured out how to play against us, and also because of a bit of bad luck.
“Life consists of ups and downs, and football is no different. Even teams like Barcelona have gone through rough patches. Inter can have them too, as long as there’s a foundation of faith in the Coach and the project.
“After all this we’re still in fifth place, ahead of teams like Milan and Lazio, who already had solid teams from last season.
“Is this the most difficult moment in my career? I don’t know if that’s a media perception or not. I’ll continue to coach as long as I’m happy doing it, and the other sideshows don’t concern me.”
La Beneamata are in on-off talks with Juventus over a proposed swap deal involving Mirko Vucinic and Fredy Guarin.
“I’m only going to discuss Inter players. For the last month there’s been nothing but talk about the transfer market, and I’d hate it if part of the reason for this rough patch we’re going through were connected to all the transfer talk. The team has to remain focused on the pitch.”
Inter have felt aggrieved in recent games for refereeing decisions seen to have gone against them.
“A couple of weeks ago we decided to stop talking about refereeing decisions because you run the risk of becoming tedious.
“Of course there are certain objective facts we follow, but then discussions come up that make things even more difficult for the referees.
“We have to focus on the matches, and then at the end of the season we’ll take stock of things, and we’ll analyse the refereeing decisions as well.”
“I don't think [Thohir’s absence has] influenced our dip in form. I don't see any pressing need for Thohir to be here - we have Branca, Ausilio, Cordoba and lots of people within the club who look after the team.
“Obviously I'm pleased if the President is here, especially in times of difficulty like this, but it shouldn't be a problem if it doesn't happen. I don't feel alone, I'm given support.
“If by 'alone' you mean that the club's not able to do the same sort of deals Inter used to do in the past, then that's a different matter. But Thohir and Moratti and the rest of the management have shown they have confidence in my work, going forwards too.
“The fact that the change of ownership took place mid-season is in itself a sign of the difficulties we've had. I signed my contract knowing that Moratti was here.
“Perhaps the change did have an effect on the team, distracting us from getting on with purely football matters. The people who work in this world know that situations like this are hard to deal with.
“We have to keep working away and turn things around with a win. Criticism? I’ve had a target on my back from the day I first began coaching.”