Stramaccioni targets title treble
By Football News
Head coach Andrea Stramaccioni has claimed Inter Milan should challenge for the title in Serie A, Coppa Italia and the Europa League.
Stramaccioni has argued rotating players is crucial if a team is to compete across three competitions, justifying his decision to leave Diego Milito, Walter Samuel, Antonio Cassano and Javier Zanetti out of his squad to play Neftchi Baku in the Europa League on Thursday.
The 36-year-old did concede Inter's priorities might change as the season progresses.
"I think a club like Inter must have the goal of going far in all three of these competitions during the season; to play and try to win them all," Stramaccioni said.
"But I also know that this can't happen if you don't use all the players in your squad the best you possibly can.
"I don't think there's a ranking of importance in these goals.
"We want to try to do well in all these competitions, at least now while it's still October."
Stramaccioni rejected the assertion he had left the five experienced players in Italy because he considered Neftchi easy opponents.
"It's very simple, the players I left behind had taken part in five games over the last 10 days, so I wanted to provide a squad with the utmost sharpness and fitness," Stramaccioni said.
"In order to do that, I have to make the most of the players at my disposal.
"However, I have immense respect for Neftchi and they have an advantage over us, in that their first XI is well-drilled.
"I repeat, the players we left behind were not done so because we didn't consider this match to be important but rather due to fatigue."
Inter head into their away match with Neftchi desperate for a win after they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Rubin Kazan in their opening game of the Europa League group stage.
Yuto Nagatomo scored in second-half injury time to secure Inter's draw after Rubin had led twice and Stramaccioni has warned his team they must play better in Azerbaijan, especially with the local grudge against AC Milan coming up on Sunday.
"We need to win both in Baku and in the Milan derby this Sunday," Stramaccioni said.
"We will have a great motivation at the match against Neftchi.
"We made some mistakes in the first match against Rubin.
"Those mistakes cannot be made in Baku."