Thursday December 8 2016
Pioli: 'Inter's European regrets'

Stefano Pioli and Inter leave the Europa League with “regrets,” but the 3-4-3 experiment worked well against Sparta Prague this evening.

The Nerazzurri were already eliminated after losing four out of five games, but ended the campaign with a 2-1 victory over Sparta Prague.

The Coach took this opportunity to give debuts to 17-year-old Andrea Pinamonti and Axel Bakayoko, while Senna Miangue impressed too.

“Pinamonti is very young, but has great quality and above all it’s not easy to find a youngster who is so humble, with his head firmly on his shoulders. He’ll have a great future,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“Inter tried to take the initiative, be focused, sharp and created some good situations. Clearly at the moment we still need to improve, be quicker and more effective.”

Pioli performed tactical experiments this evening with a new 3-4-3 formation. Can it be used in Serie A as well?

“We are seeking a more balanced outfit that can be more efficient both defending and attacking. We’ll see which system is the most effective.

“All it takes is a negative incident, which can happen because we are not the best side in Italy and are recovering from a difficult situation, and everything becomes more difficult.

“When there’s a setback we tend to lose our shape and get stretched out.”

Southampton also went out, but if Inter had held on when 2-0 up away to Hapoel Be’er-Sheva, the Nerazzurri would’ve qualified with nine points.

“There are regrets and it’s only right to point out that we had gone 2-0 up and proved ourselves superior in that match. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of thinking it was over at half-time and lost 3-2.”

Pioli was asked about the transfer window, which will mainly be used to whittle down the 29-man squad.

“The club will work out the best strategy. I think we have to make the most of the advantage we’ll have of working to prepare just one game per week.

“It’s true we have a lot of players, the club is aware of that, and we do intend to reduce that number in January.”

Summer signing Gabriel Barbosa cost €29.5m, but has made just one 16-minute appearance against Bologna. Could he feature against Genoa on Sunday?

“I understand the interest, but there is too much talk about those who are not playing. We have to pick the most reliable and well-prepared players for each game, so if Gabigol hasn’t been picked, it means he’s not ready yet.”