Sunday December 7 2014
Strama: 'Kovacic position key'

Andrea Stramaccioni revealed the tactical change that allowed Udinese to beat Inter. “Mateo Kovacic surprised me.”

The man who was in charge of the Nerazzurri from March 2012 to June 2013 returned to San Siro and left with a 2-1 result.

“It was important for us to win tonight and in my view with a strong second half Udinese did enough in the end to deserve the victory,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“For 90 minutes we were enemies, but I have many friends here who are not going through an easy time, so I wish them well from the next game.

“I think Inter won everything and had a fantastic era, but I took a big chunk of it away with me – Dejan Stankovic. I also have other staff members who were at Inter.

“I am a simple lad, I come from nothing and I don’t forget who gave me that amazing opportunity. Maybe it would’ve been better to beat Milan here...”

Inter had completely dominated the first half and went into the break 1-0 up, but the Friulani turned it all around.

“With all honesty, we didn’t expect Kovacic to play between the lines and had prepared high aggressive pressing that his position prevented us from doing.

“It is the job of a Coach to re-organise and during the half-time break we changed Allan’s position to be as aggressive as we wanted to originally, limiting Inter’s quality players and certainly creating more chances than they did.”

Udinese had only scored two away goals before this game and were without a Serie A victory since October.

“First of all this can show us we have a united group, as you don’t fight back from a goal down at San Siro if you don’t have character.

“We had lost the mentality of Udinese, perhaps resting on our laurels, but this performance can show us what we ought to be.”

Stramaccioni surprised many by substituting Antonio Di Natale, but replacement Cyril Thereau scored the winner.

“Everyone knows how important Di Natale is for us, but a Coach has to make the best choices for the squad, at times with courage, and at that moment I needed a player who had a different physical structure to Toto. Thereau can hold the ball up and when Inter were pushing up again, we needed that.”

Bruno Fernandes scored a sensational goal to equalise, flicking the ball up to then unleash a volley.

“He can improve in the final third, but I asked him to be the attacking midfielder who can come up behind the strikers. We managed to cause Medel huge problems tonight and that was our plan, as he links everything up in that Inter midfield.

“We mustn’t forget Bruno is only 20 years old, so he is still growing and improving.”

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