ESTADIO DO DRAGAO (Porto) – Following their shock defeat at Spezia, Simone Inzaghi insists that Inter are ready to “let the pitch do the talking” in their Champions League last-16 second leg against Porto in order to book a place among the best eight European teams.
While their latest slip in Serie A was not the best way to prepare for a season-defining game, the under-pressure Inzaghi insisted the Nerazzurri should “look ahead rather than living in the past” as he spoke in a pre-match conference ahead of their Champions League clash.
“We’ve talked to each other and we analysed the game after our defeat at Spezia, but tomorrow’s is the only game that matters now,” Inzaghi said to the assembled press in his pre-Porto press conference at the Estadio do Dragao, including Total Italian Football.
“We’ve already played games of this magnitude in the past and know what we will face. It’s a chance for us to make a big leap and become one of the best eight teams in Europe.
“Our goal last season was to get back into the Champions League round-of-16 after eight years, but since then we’ve been working every day to improve that result”.
Inzaghi also conceded he still has to decide Inter’s starting XI vs Porto, with Milan Skriniar‘s presence among his main doubts.
“I still have several doubts about our starting XI and I’ll decide tomorrow,” Inzaghi said.
“Skriniar has been out for more than 15 days and today [Monday] he had his first full session with the team. I was really impressed with what he did in order to be available tomorrow, but although he’s a quality player I’ll have to assess his condition carefully before making a choice.
“[Romelu] Lukaku is one option in attack, but I still have to decide who is going to play. Joaquin Correa is back and he could help us too, we’ll see how the game will play out.”
Echoing Inzaghi’s words, Hakan Calhanoglu also spoke to the press and stressed the players are “united” and “ready to bounce back after a negative result, as we always have done”.
“We’re always together, for better or worse,” Calhanoglu added. “We know it’ll be a tough game, I know the atmosphere as I’ve already played here, but we’re motivated and we’ll put everything we have on the pitch until the end.
“I know they’ll try to provoke us, we are prepared for that as well.”