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Stramaccioni wary of Partizan challenge
24 Oct, 2012 7:25 PM GMT
Inter Milan boss Andrea Stramaccioni is targeting all three points from Thursday's Europa League tussle with Partizan Belgrade.
The three-time UEFA Cup champions are tied on four points with Russian rivals Rubin Kazan, but head Group H on goal difference.
Inter have won five successive matches in all competitions but, with playmaker Wesley Sneijder unlikely to return from injury, Stramaccioni knows the match will not be easy.
"We'll approach the game with a hungry side who will take our opponents seriously," Stramaccioni said.
"We're expecting a team in good health, who are top of their league with eight wins and just one defeat - which came right at the start of the season.
"They've got talented young players. We respect Partizan, we know it'll be a tough game.
"Tomorrow's match is key because if we win we can take a big step towards qualifying and that would allow us to make changes for our remaining group games."
Inter have made a positive start to the season, sitting fourth in Serie A after eight games - just four points behind leaders Juventus - but the coach is not getting carried away with their strong early-season form.
"We're working well at the moment, we saw that on Sunday (in a 2-0 home win over Catania)," Stramaccioni said. "(But) we're relaxed and keeping our feet on the ground.
"We have it in our minds to work hard and improve game by game without taking any notice of the League table or our aims, which could distract us from our main goal which is hard graft."