NEWS
Wednesday March 2 2016
Mancini: 'Inter gain self-belief'

Roberto Mancini hopes Inter’s extraordinary Coppa Italia tie with Juventus can “give us self-belief.”

The Nerazzurri dominated for 100 minutes and won 3-0 to even out the first leg result, but capitulated on penalties.

“It was a wonderful game, I compliment all the lads for the way they interpreted it throughout. I am above all sad for them, as they deserved to go to the Final,” the Coach told Rai Sport.

“Inter were top of the Serie A table for 18 rounds and everyone criticised us anyway. We lost some games and everyone criticised us. We just have to keep working and ignore all that.”

It is a remarkable turnaround considering on Sunday Juve beat Inter 2-0 in Serie A.

“Sunday’s match was totally in the balance and changed by an error, unfortunately. It totally changed the game, as we’d had the best chance of the first half and they had one long-range shot with Hernanes.

“It was a very balanced encounter and we absolutely did not deserve to lose. We too are disappointed at dropping points, but hopefully this performance can give us the self-belief and momentum to capture third place.

“I expect the team to recover from this very disappointing defeat on penalties and to realise they have quality if they remain as concentrated as they were tonight.

“We are a team trying to build something and that means going through moments of difficulty. That is football, nobody knows why.

“We work to do our best, sometimes things go well, sometimes they don’t. We did well for six months, over the last couple things haven’t gone as well, now we hope to pick up the pace.

“I think luck plays a big part and we tend to concede goals at the 93rd minute. Now there are 12 rounds, I think after tonight we can do well and hope to continue on from this performance against Palermo.

“Sunday will be an important match and we have to focus on that, then Bologna. Every game is to be played and done with the intensity we saw tonight. If we win those two, we’ll see about getting back into the race for third.”

Inter were without suspended Jeison Murillo and Joao Miranda tonight, but Danilo D’Ambrosio was a revelation in a new centre-back role.

“We’ve been working for a while with D’Ambrosio and he did well in central defence, as did Juan Jesus. They’ve both played there before, so it wasn’t an emergency situation. Eder is a great player, he’s a bit unlucky at the moment, but deserved a goal tonight.”

Geoffrey Kondogbia was taken to hospital at half-time after a head injury.

“Kondogbia had tests, it’s nothing serious.”