MILAN – “You can’t judge a team based on a single game.” That was one of the concepts upheld by Walter Mazzarri during his news conference the day before Inter v Juventus. He was asked about last season’s win over the Bianconeri at the Juventus Stadium, after which Inter’s form became inconsistent. “That match from last year is a case in point: you have to make sure that winning one game is not an end in itself. We’re not looking at this one match but in being consistent.”
The coach will be hoping his players can show that consistency by taking up from where they left off before the international break, even if he was deprived of many in the build-up to tomorrow’s match. He wasn’t looking for excuses though: “I’d rather not comment on the situation regarding the international break. I’ll do what I can to give my players all the input possible so that they can perform well. The last few players came back yesterday and I didn’t have time to talk to them with the focus needed. I told them to rest up as best they could so that they could concentrate today and take in everything I have to say.
“As my players know, generally we try to improve constantly, looking at how we’ve done in the past and correcting our mistakes. What I tried to do yesterday was run through our mistakes at Catania, like the first chance Catania had. We have to be alert from the first minute. If we’re perfect defensively and we develop our attacking game then we can be a handful for any side. I’ve always worked on the team’s performance. A team with no hang-ups must aim to produce a top performance.
“I’d like to see the same Inter that has done well in the league so far, without the mistakes we made against Catania and Genoa. I’m happy with how the team played at other times of those games. And tomorrow I’ll be curious to see if these lads have improved further, even after all the travelling and so on; if we’ve managed to smooth over a few cracks in these few training sessions we’ve had. But obviously that’s also down to the opposition you’re up against.”
So which player would Mazzarri take away from Juventus’ team? “They’re strong all round, from the goalkeeper right through to the centre forward. I wouldn’t know who to take away… Besides, I don’t like saying – and this goes for us as well as for our opponents – that one player can change the game. It’s the team that changes the game. You don’t get very far by relying on individuals.”
Asked to comment on remarks made by Aurelio De Laurentiis, Mazzarri stated: “I’ve never cared much for what others have to say about me, apart from the players I’ve coached. I don’t think there’s a big difference between Italy and Europe when you do things a certain way.”