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Strama Presser and Call Ups


APPIANO GENTILE Andrea Stramaccioni has selected 21 Nerazzurri players in his squad for the trip to Napoli.
Goalkeepers: 1 Handanovic, 27 Belec, 30 Carrizo;

Defenders: 23 Ranocchia, 26 Chivu, 28 Pasa, 40 Juan Jesus, 31 Pereira, 42 Jonathan, 52 Ferrara, 63 Spendlhofer;

Midfielders: 7 Schelotto, 10 Kovacic, 11 Alvarez, 14 Guarin, 17 Kuzmanovic, 19 Cambiasso, 24 Benassi;

Forwards: 18 Rocchi, 45 Forte, 61 Garritano.

"I'm fortunate to have Cordoba alongside me: credit to him for the mood in the dressing room. Club and I got it spot on when we chose him"

A united group of players and a united club. That, at least, is one positive Andrea Stramaccioni can take from what has been a complicated season. "I've made mistakes myself, but I'm fortunate to have a group of players who are also great men. I'm fortunate to have Cordoba alongside me – the club and I got that one spot on. He's a real man with lots of experience and part of the credit for our united dressing room must go to him."

Stramaccioni was then asked for his thoughts on comments made by Javier Zanetti about the coach's future. "I've just finished talking about Cordoba but Javier is another person I'm grateful to because he's always been incredibly supportive. He's the captain of Inter and he respects what the president says without contradicting him. If I am to remain the coach of Inter, as the president wants, I'll have Javier to thank too. He's key for us. He's my engine and I want to make sure he's with us for the start of pre-season training, whether he comes along with his leg in plaster, on crutches or whatever."

Moving on from the captain's injury to Ruben Botta's: "Yeah, he's got injured and so has Longo. Two players we were planning to build the future with now need to go under the knife... That's going to frighten off anyone who wants to join Inter, isn't it?" Stramaccioni joked. "Let's just say that we haven't had much luck recently. Could Botta's injury put his move in doubt? He's a young lad who's had a nasty injury but if we've decided to go for him our assessment won't change now. He'll be an Inter player, we'll wait for him."

Back on the subject of Zanetti, how are Inter going to replace him until he returns? "Inter been strong on the right in recent games. We've tried out various solutions to make up for his absence over the last few days, but you can't replace the captain. Javier is unique."

Finally, an update on Yuto Nagatomo's fitness: "At the moment we've decided to look at how he responds to certain tests on the pitch so that we can then choose what's right for Inter. From a medical point of view, our decisions have always been taken with the player's best interests at heart."

"We're thinking clearly and calmly despite all the problems we've got at the moment. Important to have Cambiasso and Guarin back"

"Despite all the problems we have at the moment, the lads have just been getting on with training. I think we've worked well and the players who are available are in good shape." Those were Andrea Stramaccioni's first thoughts as he looked ahead to tomorrow's meeting with Napoli in his pre-match press conference this afternoon.

The coach then went into more detail about some of the players recently discharged from the Nerazzurri treatment room: "We've got Guarin and Cambiasso back with us and yesterday Cassano returned to the group too, though he's obviously a bit further behind. Guarin and Cambiasso are important players to have back. I don't know if I'll use them straight away but they're important.
"Why did Antonio start training with the squad again before Palacio? The recovery period can be different even with the same injury. Will Cassano be available against Lazio? He's raring to go and we'll have to see when he can play again, considering both his urgency to return and his fitness. He might make it for Lazio, we'll have to see.

"Who's fit enough to be included in the squad for tomorrow's game? Palacio isn't, Cambiasso and Guarin are, although we still have another training session to go. Chivu? I'm trying to get him fully fit again. With Samuel out injured, we're a bit thin at the back. I didn't risk him against Palermo but he really wants to do his bit for the team. He'll grit his teeth against Napoli."

After fielding questions about his players' fitness, Stramaccioni had to answer one about himself: "How do I feel? I'm in good health, I'm not injured," he joked. "We're thinking very clearly even though we find ourselves in this difficult situation. We need to see out the season by using our heads and we're determined to do well in the games we have left.

"Facing Napoli? It would have been tough if we'd been on top form... They've put some great results together since they got knocked out of the Europa League. But we're going to Naples to play our own game and make life difficult for them."

Alfred Duncan long shot...

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