Saturday March 15 2014
Mazzarri: 'Hernanes changed Inter'

Walter Mazzarri hailed Hernanes for bringing “characteristics we had been lacking” after Inter’s win in Verona.

The 2-0 result at the Stadio Bentegodi took them into fourth place awaiting Fiorentina’s game with Chievo tomorrow evening.

“We talk the way we always have done, that every game has to be played the same way whether home or away, then at the end we’ll see where we are. That’s the objective for this season,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

Hernanes hit the bar with a wonderful free kick and there is a statistical curiosity, as Inter have won all four games the ex-Lazio midfielder started.

“If we wanted him, it’s because the club asked me who could be useful and I’d already asked for him at Napoli. I always liked this player and I think he can do even better, as he’s not at 100 per cent yet. He keeps calm and controls the ball with characteristics we had been lacking.

“I’ve tried to drill into these players from the start that they must go for the win from the very beginning and maintain the same mentality no matter where they are playing. That means winning back possession as quickly as possible and seeking the victory every time.

“You can see that in recent outings the team has indeed taken that approach.”
Mauro Icardi also hit the bar with a looping header in the opening minutes, but Mazzarri wasn’t entirely satisfied.

“It was a good performance in terms of desire and effort, as he worked for the team. He needs to improve in certain movements, not so much at finishing as off the ball or to bring the side forward and open spaces. At one point Verona pegged us back and the forwards need to stretch the opposition more to lift that pressure.

“In the past when we’ve taken the lead, we have settled down and the players know I don’t want them to have that attitude when the game is still open. I therefore told them to act as if it was still 0-0.”

This week there was speculation on Mazzarri’s future, but he clarified the answer he gave in a Press conference.

“Next season I will certainly be the Coach, as I have a contract until 2015. Someone tried to twist my answer this week, as I was discussing contracts and said there was time until June to extend or discuss, but it’s the last of my worries right now because we have to focus on the team.

“It is only by getting results that we can plan a bright future and that includes any discussions over my contract extension. That’s all I said.”