Friday February 3 2012
Ranieri relishing Roma return

Claudio Ranieri returns to the capital to face old side Roma this weekend relaxed and keen to collect three points.

Ranieri took the Giallorossi to the brink of title success in 2009-10, but left in less-favourable circumstances in February 2011. Almost exactly a year on, Ranieri returns to the club, this time leading Inter in a crucial League meeting between Serie A’s fifth and sixth-placed clubs.

“On a personal level it's always nice to go back to Roma,” began the 60-year-old. “I was lucky enough to coach them but that's all in the past and now we have to look ahead.

“It's an important match for us, but it is for the Giallorossi, too. They are a team who attack and attack well, create many scoring opportunities, but also give many away.

“We'll have to be sharp and take advantage of those.”

The Nerazzurri go into the fixture without a win in three games in all competitions, having followed up defeats to Lecce in the League and Napoli in the Cup with a draw against Palermo in midweek.

“You can't expect to win every match, and that's a fact. We must keep on working and get back onto the path we were on as soon as possible.

“Am I worried? I can't be because I never expect things to be easy. We have a lot of work to do; I'm not worried, I'm focussed.

“[Roma] are a team with a different mentality than the other Italian teams - they attack a lot, keep possession not just horizontally but vertically too, with a Barcelona-style philosophy.

“I also think the club made an excellent move by bringing in Luis Enrique - he has shown he can win the players over and he's doing well and will do even better next year.

“Will the loser of this match be out of the running for Champions League qualification? I don't know.

“It's been such a strange championship this season as when it started everything seemed difficult and now anything is possible. I don't think this match will influence things so much.”

Whilst avoiding a postponement over the midweek round, Inter have now been affected by blanket of snow taking over the country, with the match against Roma moved from its original Saturday evening kick-off to a Sunday afternoon slot.

“I read some ideas in the papers about how we could make changes to avoid such a long season and having to play in freezing conditions.

“Reducing the number of teams in the League would be an important first move, then as a nation we are not used to living with snow.

“Of course seeing empty stadiums even when it isn't only related to cold or snow isn't great either, because players like to play in front of crowded stands.”