Saturday September 26 2015
Prandelli: 'Jovetic and Melo key'

Cesare Prandelli gives insight into how Stevan Jovetic and Felipe Melo have found their form at Inter.

The Nerazzurri are top of the Serie A table with five wins out of five and a lot of that is down to their summer signings.

“I have splendid memories of both players,” Prandelli told of the ex-Fiorentina pair.

“I was certain that within a few years they’d become great players. Jovetic has improved a lot. He already showed character and some truly notable quality in Florence, but now he has become more sure of his capabilities, physically stronger and above all found his natural tactical role. He is a striker.

“The classic modern striker has a good eye for goal, but also works to help the team. I remember in a Champions League game against Liverpool, Alberto Gilardino was injured, so I wanted to use Jovetic as a centre-forward.

“His job was to not give reference points to the opposition defence. I struggled so hard to convince him, as he didn’t want to play there. Well, we won 2-0 and he bagged a brace.”

As for midfielder Melo, he has always been a rugged figure in the middle of the park at Fiorentina, Juventus, Galatasaray and now Inter.

“He really is a born leader,” insisted Prandelli. “After a few training sessions I realised that in terms of temperament and sporting aggression he was one of the best. He has incredible character and would be capable of giving his best against 100,000 people all jeering him.

“Over the years he’s been affected by the negative interpretation of his sporting conduct, but Felipe is not violent. He doesn’t need to be, as he is so strong physically.

“I am not surprised that in a short space of time he has already become an idol for Inter fans. He’s a leader, one of those who in the locker room always backs the Coach.”

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