Friday, 28 March 2008

Moratti urges caution

Internazionale President Massimo Moratti is taking nothing for granted in the race for the Scudetto, with his team just four points clear of Roma ahead of Saturday's trip to Lazio.

Inter are seeking a third straight title in Serie A but have not been able to put clear daylight between themselves and the Giallorossi.

Last weekend Roberto Mancini's men were beaten 2-1 by Juventus and Moratti admits no one at the club is feeling overconfident.

"Until there is a considerable advantage over Roma, I prefer to remain cautious," Moratti said.

"We have lost two games this season in Serie A for different reasons, the first because we had a numerical inferiority and the other for other reasons."

There has been turmoil at Inter ever since their UEFA Champions League exit to Liverpool, in the aftermath of which Mancini announced he would leave the San Siro at the end of the season.

And although he later retracted his comments, Moratti has had to repeatedly deny he is looking for a new coach.

To add further spice to Saturday's clash, as a former Lazio coach, many Biancoceleste fans are still upset by Mancini's move to Inter.

"I remain confident and I am convinced that the team will bounce back. But every game worries me and especially the clash at Lazio," Moratti added.

Mancini himself admits his team have struggled of late to show the same form that saw them go unbeaten in Serie A until defeat to Napoli in March, collecting just one point from their last two league games.

"We can do a lot more than what we did in the game against Juventus. But lets not forget we still hold a four-point advantage and we can manage this," he said.

"If we recover some players, there is no reason why we cannot win the eight games that remain until the end of the campaign."

Mancini was confident ahead of their game in Rome. "We are relaxed, we’ve dominated this championship and will finish top of the table. There is nothing to worry about. After all, when we had a bigger advantage I still said we’d have to fight until the end."

Lazio will be eager to bounce back from their narrow defeat at Fiorentina last weekend that brought to an end a five-game unbeaten run.

At his press conference, coach Delio Rossi admitted that he hoped Inter win the Scudetto rather than city rivals Roma, but reiterated that his side will fight against the Nerazzurri for all three points.

"Now everyone is supporting Lazio," Rossi declared. "Until the other day everyone wanted to see us dead or in Serie B."

There have been suggestions that a defeat against Roma’s Scudetto rivals Inter will please the majority of their fans, but Rossi has refuted that notion.

"We are playing for ourselves against Inter and not for others. The problem doesn’t lie with our fans but with the others who think that we won’t do our duty," he said.

"Everyone has to think about their own team and whatever comes out of the Olimpico Inter will win or lose this title.

"Lazio must take on Inter like it’s a derby. We are taking on the top side, but just a few days ago we played second place.

"We will try and get a result without being distracted by anything. Inter have such a great unit at their disposal and it will be a first-choice team out there, not the youth or the reserves."

However, Rossi couldn’t deny that he is hoping the Giallorossi fail to steal the Scudetto. "I would prefer that Inter won the Scudetto. I can’t say that it’s better for Roma to win it as I am a Lazio fan. But I have great respect for whoever prospers and whoever it is must have something extra," he concluded.

Source: Sporting Life / C4 Football Italia

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