Stramaccioni buoyed by Europa League progress
Inter Milan's Andrea Stramaccioni was thrilled after his side moved into the Europa League knockout stages with a 3-1 win at Partizan Belgrade.
Inter have been in fine form of late and have now won their last 10 matches in a row, as well as a club record of 10 consecutive victories away.
Thursday's win in Belgrade - which was powered by two goals from Rodrigo Palacio and a third from Fredy Guarin - saw them qualify for the next phase of the Europa League with two matches to spare, much to the coach's delight.
"Palacio was our first purchase in the summer. We have followed him for a long time. He is playing like he has played with us for a long time. He has been great since his arrival," Stramaccioni told reporters.
"Guarin was great, too. He had a hand in all our goals and even scored one himself. But, we should not forget (goalkeeper Samir) Handanovic who made some crazy saves. He is a real champion, one of the best in Europe.
"As for Jonathan and Matias Silvestre, who we have not used a lot of so far, they both defended and did well. While I could not ask for more from Marko Livaja. I liked what he did."
Despite the result, it was not always comfortable for the Italians in Belgrade as their hosts started the match in good touch. However, the second period belonged to Inter and Stramaccioni insisted this was his game plan from the start.
"We started more cautiously. We have played a lot of matches of late, so I did not want my team playing at a high tempo from the start. In the second half, I wanted my team to open up and they did," he said.
"We now have won 10 times away from home. A great record and one that proves our strengths. It's good to win again. We have secured qualification now, away to a difficult opponent.
"I would like us to finish first in the group. Having qualified we are under less pressure, however, it would be better to finish top of the standings.
"We are on a positive path. Everyone at the club, players and coaches, are together. we are having a good moment."