Andrea Stramaccioni praised Udinese and Antonio Di Natale for out-playing Inter when down to nine men.
At the final whistle, the Stadio Friuli cheered as if they had won the game rather than lost 2-1.
“What I told my players is that even if we lost and didn’t get points, this game was on a par with the victory over Milan,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“It showed our grit and determination, as we remained positive and attacking even down to nine men. In the last 10 minutes I knew we’d create some dangerous situations and we were unlucky in the finishing.
“I look at the overall performance and have to applaud my players, as the crowd did tonight. This is sport and even in defeat you can learn.”
Udinese have had nine penalties awarded against them this season, but are the only side who haven’t received a spot-kick.
“We are unlucky. That is all I can say. I don’t think it was a penalty tonight because Kovacic had already kicked the ball wide when Danilo came into contact with him.
“From the bench it was very clear that Kovacic had already taken the shot, so what Danilo did afterwards would’ve made no difference.
“I told the referee that with Badu he was too harsh. There had already been a red card and a dubious penalty, so after the booking a more experienced referee would probably have given Badu a warning.
“My player was wrong and in the adrenaline of the moment he went too far. On Maurizio Domizzi’s first booking it was unnecessary too. In both situations, another referee might try to educate the player by telling him off or giving a warning.
“In any case, I don’t want my players to go home feeling they were subjected to an injustice. I want them to realise that against Milan and Inter they put in two great performances and more than matched these big clubs.
“We are a young team building for the future. In my view this defeat is disappointing, but it is a good sign for the future of Udinese.”
Antonio Di Natale scored his 205th Serie A goal, matching the tally set by Roberto Baggio.
“I want to applaud our captain, who achieved something extraordinary, did it in a provincial club and with great humility. I see him at my age training every day and continuing to make the difference.”
It was a special game for Stramaccioni against his former club and he was asked about rumours assistant manager Dejan Stankovic is heading back to Inter.
“I left many players at Inter who I had a good rapport with. I will forever be grateful to Inter for giving me my first Serie A job.
“We’re a good pair on the bench and in training, while he helps give his experience to the younger players. Of course his heart is Nerazzurro and in five or six years he could well go back to Inter.”
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