In­ter coach Pi­oli tar­gets quick re­turn to Cham­pi­ons League

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Speak­ing for the first time as coach of In­ter , Ste­fano Pi­oli said yes­ter­day he is tar­get­ing a quick re­turn to the Cham­pi­ons League. In­ter are ninth in Serie A, eight points be­hind third-place Mi­lan and the fi­nal Cham­pi­ons League spot. “We need to have a win­ning men­tal­ity,” Pi­oli said. “The squad has the right val­ues to play in a concrete and win­ning way. The aim is to get them to play with pas­sion, that’s how we’ll be­come a strong team. “I would be happy if we get to the Cham­pi­ons League. Last year at this time In­ter were first and (even­tual cham­pion Ju­ven­tus) were way down, we all know how it fin­ished. I don’t want any­one to be un­der any il­lu­sions. It won’t be easy but there is time to do it.” The last time In­ter was in the Cham­pi­ons League was in 201112, when they were knocked out by Mar­seille on away goals in the round of 16. Pi­oli re­placed Frank de Boer, who was fired last week af­ter In­ter lost seven of 14 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions. He is In­ter’s ninth coach since Jose Mour­inho led the club to a tre­ble in 2010. Pi­oli, who has said he’s al­ways been an In­ter fan, faces ri­val Mi­lan in his first match on Nov. 20, af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break. “We have a very im­por­tant month com­ing up,” Pi­oli said. “We will have eight matches in a month, we will need every­one. I will make sure every­one is ready. Above all, I want every­one to have the right at­ti­tude.” Pi­oli spent nearly two sea­sons in charge of Lazio. He led the Rome club to a third-place fin­ish in his first cam­paign, but was fired last April af­ter a 4-1 derby loss to Roma. Be­sides Lazio, the 51-year-old Pi­oli pre­vi­ously coached his home­town club Parma plus Chievo Verona, Palermo and Bologna in Serie A. In 218 matches as a Serie A coach, his teams have a record of 73 wins, 62 draws and 83 losses. He has been given an 18-month con­tract at In­ter. “I’m not wor­ried about my fu­ture,” Pi­oli said. “I’m just fo­cused and mo­ti­vated. I’m coach­ing In­ter, I can’t think about any­thing else but that. I will give every­thing. My con­tract doesn’t mat­ter, the only thing that mat­ters is the good of In­ter.” De Boer was hired less than two weeks be­fore the sea­son be­gan fol­low­ing the un­ex­pected res­ig­na­tion of Roberto Mancini, who re­port­edly wanted more con­trol over the trans­fer mar­ket and clashed with Sun­ing, the Chi­nese re­tail gi­ant that took con­trol of 70 per­cent of In­ter in June. In­ter’s youth squad coach, Ste­fano Vec­chi, was given tem­po­rary con­trol of the se­nior team for a 2-1 loss at Southamp­ton in the Europa League yes­ter­day leav­ing the Ner­az­zurri last in their group - and a 3-0 win over last-place Cro­tone on Sun­day in Serie A.

New coach Ste­fano Pi­oli has a tough job to turn In­ter’s for­tunes

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