Inzaghi expecting an ‘aggressive, organised’ Milan after ‘indications’ of first three games

By Oliver Fisher -

Simone Inzaghi has poked fun at the idea that his Inter side were branded as ‘weak’ at times during last season but are now listed among contenders to win the Champions League.

Inzaghi’s situation was similar to Stefano Pioli’s in many ways, as his Inter side went on a memorable European run but at the expense of form domestically, though the Nerazzurri did go on to win the Supercoppa and the Coppa Italia.

Now, with Inter having won three games out of three to begin the new season without conceding a goal, the calls from a few months ago for the former Lazio boss to lose his job have turned to suggestions that a Scudetto win should be the aim.

Inzaghi spoke in a conference on the eve of the Milan derby scheduled for tomorrow evening at San Siro, with his comments relayed by

You have started the season very well. How important is it to show consistency in the derby?

“Undoubtedly Milan and Inter made a good impression. It’s only the fourth rounf but it’s an important match and we’ll want to do it in the best possible way.”

How do you keep Frattesi out when he’s playing like this?

“We all wanted Davide at Inter, he has fitted in very well and has been working very well with his teammates for two months. I have to make choices and I’m happy to have to make them. Last year there was a moment in which I had forced choices, then I was able to do them and Inter improved a lot.”

How important is it to understand Inter’s level at the moment, perhaps beating Milan?

“We know what the derby represents for everyone. I hope to also have Cuadrado and Sanchez for tomorrow, then from Sunday we will think about the Champions League.”

What indications did the first three games give you?

“Inter changed two players and Milan three or four. There is no big difference, they are two teams that have changed, they started very well. Each with their own identity. Tomorrow is not decisive but we know what it means for the city and fans.”

When preparing for the match, did you only watch the first three league matches or also the old Champions League matches?

“The principles have remained the same, but the first three games have given some indications on Milan.”

How important is it to arrive with the right awareness and how risky is it to feel stronger?

“They are proud of having won the derbies last year which took us to the Champions League final and won a trophy. But precedents don’t win the game.”

What do you think of Leao?

“He will be one we watch closely, we will take countermeasures as we have always done. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. He has great quality like the Inter players have.”

Are you a little afraid of the fact that statistically you won’t always be able to win?

“No, I already answered. We are aware that we have to be very focused on recovering the players after the trips and minutes put in by the players.”

Two years ago the derby was a battle for the Scudetto, last season it was for a place in the Champions League final. What is it worth this year?

“Clearly it would be a good message even if I don’t like predictions. Until three games ago it was said that we were weaker, now it seems that we will have to win the European Championship instead of Italy. We know that we have to work and that already tomorrow we will have very strong opponents to face.”

How important is it to be able to lead the way in the table straight away?

“That is the hope, but thinking about a certain route or a certain opponent in the calendar is not a good thing. We hope to have everyone available because playing so much I will need everyone.”

Before the Champions League matches you lost 4 times last year. Are you more ready this year?

“Looking at what we’ve done, I say yes, but we still have to start a journey of 7 games in 22 days. It would be enough for me to have everyone available and it’s not very easy with all these games.

“But everyone is training well, there are those who have arrived from little and he wanted to be on the pitch. Today I think I have everyone available, then tomorrow we will make the choices.”

Milan has changed a bit in terms of formation. What changes for you?

“They have changed but the principles have remained the same. An aggressive, organised, well-trained team. They have put in more physicality. They will certainly do well.”

Milan perhaps plays more proactive football than last year. Could this give you any additional problems or advantages?

“You can’t predict it now. Two teams are facing each other who are doing well and have deservedly won the first three matches. They’ve both had a lot of players out for the national teams and we need to get organized in a few days.”

Inter-Milan is also Inzaghi-Pioli. You are often praised or criticised for not changing. Do you think this is your strength?

“It’s part of the job. With Pioli there is great mutual respect, everyone is making their own path. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, I know I gave my all together with the staff and the boys who have done very well for two years and must continue like this. We know it’s a very long time coming and we will all work together for the good of Inter.”

Tags AC Milan Simone Inzaghi
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