Friday April 25 2014
Benitez defends Inter tenure

Napoli Coach Rafa Benitez has defended his reign at Inter, insisting that he did as much as he could while at San Siro.

The Spaniard, who had a spell in charge of the Nerazzurri in 2010, returns to Milan to face his former side tomorrow.

At the pre-match Press conference ahead of the match against Walter Mazzarri’s team, the 54-year-old was asked by journalists why he continued to talk about his tenure with the three-time European champions.

“Because there are a lot of journalists who have to write or talk about it,” Benitez answered. “My record there is positive.

“I had a good relationship with the fans and I won two trophies. I couldn’t have done any more. I have said what I have to say and now we need to talk about the future.”

The tactician also answered questions on his own team’s preparations for the upcoming Coppa Italia final, the development of his squad and the match tomorrow itself.

“We work the whole year round to improve the squad. We did it in January and we will continue to do so, for every competition we are playing in.

“We are looking for players with hunger. The idea is to improve the squad and to develop those who are already here.

“We want to win with the players who are best suited to tomorrow’s match. It will also be an opportunity for the players to show me that they want to play in the Coppa Italia final.

“For me, there are also still a lot of targets to go for in the League. We can get our record number of away wins, record points total and Higuain can be top scorer. Going for these goals is the sign of a winning mentality.

“We also still have to guarantee third place. We have to win this game and not think about the final.

“You can’t buy character and motivation in the supermarket. We have played a lot of good matches but if you miss chances as we have you don’t help yourselves.

“We can still grow mentally and tactically we know what to do defensively, in either a three, four or five.

“With a more competitive squad we will have a better attitude because if someone doesn’t do well then they know someone else will come in.

“The key for me was to get to know the players already here, then do a little bit better by instilling my own ideas on football.

“Mazzarri did well here, but he was here at the same club for four years and changed things every year.

“I found a team that needed a different attitude and we are on the right track.

“People are pleased with us and there is still room for improvement.

“It should be an intense match this weekend. The players need to show they want to play in Rome. That’s the message.

“Inter have players of a great level. It will be difficult for us, especially because they want to get into the Europa League. There will be a great atmosphere.”

Finally, Benitez commented on a few of his players but refused to say whether he would shake hands with Marco Materazzi or Massimo Moratti tomorrow.

“Insigne is a young player. He is growing and learning and he works very hard in training to keep improving.

“Both Henrique and Callejon have been training without any problems.

“At San Siro I will go into the dressing room and only think about the match.”

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