Sunday March 6 2016
Mancini: 'Ljajic's brain a problem'

Roberto Mancini both praised and criticised Adem Ljajic after Inter beat Palermo 3-1. “His brain doesn’t always work properly.”

The Nerazzurri closed to within two points of Fiorentina in third and five of Roma in that third Champions League spot.

“We deserved to be 3-0 up at half-time, but made a naïve mistake to let them back into the game. We have to improve in that sense,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“We had already played well last Sunday against Juventus, but unfortunately the results overshadow performances.

“We hope to continue like this, we must do well to confirm what we’ve shown in recent games. The approach was good, we scored two early goals and had chances for several more.”

Ljajic scored his first goal since December, a gap of 11 games.

“I really, really like Ljajic and he knows that, but at times he doesn’t train with the right attitude. His feet are excellent, but his brain doesn’t always work properly. He can sometimes rest on his laurels during a game or train badly all week.

“A player with his quality should make the difference always, the way he did tonight. There are few players out there like him.

“Ivan Perisic is simply getting to know Italian football, which is very different to the Bundesliga. Geoffrey Kondogbia is improving too and both will be the future of Inter.”

The next few rounds could well be decisive in the race for third, because Inter face Roma on March 19.

“I don’t know if it will be a decisive match, as when there are still 10 rounds to go, anything is still possible.

“We created some enormous expectations at the start of the season, albeit realising we didn’t have the resources to stay up there at the top of the table. Our target has always been third place and we’re still in the running.”