Pippo Inzaghi wants to “repay” Milan with a derby victory, but has injury concerns ahead of the Inter clash.
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Neither side looks likely to qualify for Europe at the moment, so is a derby victory the only remaining target for two failed campaigns?
“I don’t see it that way,” said Inzaghi in his Press conference. “The derby is to be won for all our fans, as we know how much they care about this, and for the table.
“There’s everything needed to have a great derby. We respect Inter, but we are Milan. As I heard some say, you win derbies, you don’t play them.
“I’ve recently seen a Milan I like that gives us security and we must build on it. Will the fans be happy to finish ahead of Inter in the standings? I think they’ll be happy when we’re back to challenging for titles. We’ll get there, hopefully as soon as possible.”
Mancio is an old hand at the Derby della Madonnina, whereas for SuperPippo it’s only his second as Coach.
“I think it’s the derby between Inter and Milan, not Mancini and Inzaghi. The main protagonists will be on the pitch,” he assured.
“Of course I have less experience than Mancini. Maybe in 20 years they’ll say I’ve run out of ideas and younger tacticians should be brought in.
“I am very humble and self-critical, so I always think of what I can do to improve. I came here to win, not to twiddle my thumbs.
“It takes time and patience to open up a new era. So far the fans and club have given me those elements and I will continue seeking what’s best for the club I love.
“I know that I must prove myself with every game. I am very relaxed and hope to repay all the affection around me.”
President Silvio Berlusconi visited the training camp to boost morale today, his first such appointment for two months.
“Milan is unique and there’s no other club like it. I must do well to earn and keep Milan, because I’ve understood after a few months what can be done to improve the team.
“This bench was handed to me by those who already knew what I could give. The club will make its evaluations at the end of the season.
“The President always makes the difference when he comes here. He has always motivated me and shown me affection.
“He’s not the only one, as I am loved by most people at Milan, including many of the fans. I came here to Coach and to take Milan back to where they belong. I am convinced that with this President, this club and hopefully me as Coach, we will get back to winning ways.”
Diego Lopez is a major doubt after spraining his finger in training, while Mattia Destro is also struggling with injury.
“Diego Lopez won’t risk training today, he got a knock yesterday and if it still hurts then he won’t play tomorrow. If he can’t make it, then Christian Abbiati is ready.
“In attack I have an abundance of options. If not Destro, then there’s Giampaolo Pazzini or Menez, then on the left Giacomo Bonaventura or Menez.
“I have many alternatives and must be smart to pick the right starting XI and who to introduce during the game.
“Keisuke Honda’s recovery and the form of Alessio Cerci and Suso gives me a wide variety of systems and characteristics.
“My prediction? I can only say we will play well, take control of the game and show we can soak up pressure when needed.”
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