Spalletti: ‘Inter mentality growing’

Luciano Spalletti trusts Inter are improving in their mentality after ending their Roma taboo with a 3-1 victory and sent a message to the boo boys.

Edin Dzeko had put the Giallorossi ahead, but Mauro Icardi’s brace and a late Matias Vecino tap-in turned it around for their first Stadio Olimpico win since 2008.

“In the first half, we weren’t quick enough moving the ball around, so they got back into their shape and would win back possession,” Spalletti told Mediaset Premium.

“Anyone knows if you play in this type of arena and don’t have a clear idea, you’re going to get squashed. In the first half, Roma were better than us.

“We started to change the mentality of this Inter side and it takes a while to get used to this type of approach. The game with Fiorentina last week was also dangerous, so beating them and Roma in a row builds confidence. Of course you also need a bit of luck, which we did have tonight.

“Roma were very good for the first half. They hit the inside of the woodwork three times, so that was unlucky. However, fortune favours the brave and we, even with some banal errors, attacked constantly. We tried to do more with Joao Mario in the second half.

“The idea is to play that kind of football for the entire 90 minutes. Even when we were 2-1 up, we didn’t sit back. Despite the three goals, and we were lucky, we also had other clear scoring opportunities.

“We were rewarded for our approach and the team must believe in what they are doing.”

Inter started out with Borja Valero in a more advanced trequartista role, but after the break he dropped back to replace Roberto Gagliardini with Joao Mario taking over that position.

“If you keep the ball more with Borja Valero in midfield, you are able to pin the opposition back and he makes exceptional choices in that position.”

Spalletti was asked if Inter needed one more player to be genuine Scudetto contenders.

“We are targeting the Champions League Final this year, but I don’t think we’ll manage it,” joked the tactician.

“Let’s focus on reality here. It’s all about blowing up the balloon, so if you finish second, it’ll feel like a failure. Inter are a good team, we need to work.”

The former Roma Coach was given a frosty welcome from his old fans, but did he meet Francesco Totti to make peace?

“Our paths have not crossed. If they had, I would’ve offered all my friendship. They jeered me because they think I’m the reason Totti retired. But I’m not here now and he could’ve continued.

“The Totti fans jeered me, but I received many positive messages from the Roma fans.”