Roberto Mancini shot down criticism of his supposedly ‘ugly’ Inter side as they host second-placed Fiorentina.
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“I wouldn’t say we are ugly or nasty,” Mancio replied to critics in his Press conference.
“I just hope the results can always be this good. I am not interested if someone says we play badly, as I am capable of judging our own performances.
“I don’t believe there is such a thing as a perfect team, so you can always improve, but this side has the right mentality.
“Unfortunately, in Italy there are many clichés. You always have to start with the objective of doing your best. It’s not as if I will ever tell a player to go out there and play badly. This team is solid and that pleases me.
“Napoli, Roma and Juventus have something more than us and it’s just a coincidence that right now they are behind us in the table.
“I wanted a physical squad, as that counts for a lot. At the same time, we have many technical players. Despite people calling Melo a ‘butcher,’ he has a lot of technique too. We combine the two, not rely on just one.
“Do I hear the rumble of enemies approaching? There are always enemies, but at times due to stupidity too. We are just trying to play football. Our possession stats are very impressive and that must say something.”
Inter haven’t won their opening five games since 1966-67, so what would Mancini feel like to make it six?
“I am already in Inter history books, as I won 17 consecutive matches.”
The Nerazzurri are top of the table and host second-placed Fiorentina on Sunday night.
“Fiorentina play well, they have more or less the same players as last season and will certainly want to put in a great performance. They are dangerous in attack and we must make the most of our opportunities. It’ll be a difficult match for both sides.
“We are Inter, I don’t think the players are feeling the pressure. We started well and must continue like this.”
Mancini was asked whether the Nerazzurri lack a creative figure following Mateo Kovacic’s departure.
“Adem Ljajic could fill that role, as he has great quality. First of all he needs to get to know Inter, including the San Siro atmosphere. Our stadium is the most difficult to play in and Adem also must adjust to that.
“Joao Miranda and Jeison Murillo are the first choice centre-backs, but Gary Medel will also be of use in midfield. We’ll certainly find somewhere for Gary to play and I could move Felipe Melo too.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow