Stramaccioni positive despite Genoa draw
Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni was in upbeat mood with his side despite their failure to beat lowly Genoa on Sunday.
Inter – who have seen the likes of Thiago Motta, Wesley Sneijder, Philippe Coutinho and Giampaolo Pazzini leave the club in the last 12 months – have struggled to compete with their usual rivals in Serie A this season, and sit ninth in the table with one match left to play.
They would have fancied their chances of beating 17th-placed Genoa – who only had their safety confirmed after claiming a point – but instead Inter's poor run of form continued as they were held to 0-0.
In the end, they had to settle for a point, with Tommaso Rocchi coming closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck the crossbar, but Stramaccioni was more concerned about the performance than the result.
He said: "The team is growing in terms of ball control. The lads played with character against a Genoa side in good shape.
"Over the last few games we have improved in terms of performance. In the second half Antonio Cassano's return from injury was useful, as it made us more unpredictable."
One of the shining lights for Inter this season has been the form of Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin.
The 26-year-old has played 30 Serie A matches for the club, scoring four goals in the process, and his form has been so good that he has been linked with a move away from Inter.
But Stramaccioni poured cold water on those rumours, insisting that he wanted to build a team around him, and that he was a vital part of the club's future.
"Guarin is an extraordinary player who combines physicality with technique in an incredible way," he said.
"He is also an important element in the locker room, so we can build a fine midfield around him. We are certainly clinging to him tight. We have clear ideas for the future and I have faith."