Monday, 12 May 2008

Mancini stays calm

After failing to convert 'two championship points' at the San Siro against AC Milan and Siena respectively, Inter have one last opportunity to clinch their 16th Scudetto on Sunday when they visit relegation threatened Parma.

The pressure, however, will all be on Roberto Mancini's side, whose six-point margin at the top of Serie A has been reduced to one by Roma in the last two games.

Moreover, Inter will face a Parma side led by Hector Cuper, who was the Nerazzurri coach when they lost the title to Juventus with a 4-2 defeat at Lazio on the final day of the 2001/02 season.

"We will do what we have to," said Cuper after the 3-1 defeat by Fiorentina which left his side third from bottom two points behind Roma's next opponents Catania in the struggle to avoid the drop.

"I could never imagine having so much at stake in just 90 minutes. With Parma-Inter and Catania-Roma, the races for the Scudetto and for avoiding relegation will cross over. As regards us, we must have only one thing in our minds – victory."

The 2-2 home draw against Siena, when the visitors twice came from behind and Inter saw a late Marco Materazzi penalty saved which would have won the game, has not dented Roberto Mancini's optimism.

"We have no kind of fear," the Inter coach said. "We will win the title in Parma. We are still one point ahead and we have the necessary quality to win at Parma.

"Against Siena we could have scored six goals while they had three shots and scored twice. It will be a tough game against Parma considering what there is at stake for both teams. However Roma will not have an easy game at Catania either."

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is fully aware of that but he is simply happy to have earned a final opportunity to win the title by defeating Atalanta 2-1.

"We wanted one chance in the final game and now we have it," he said. "We had a great season and we fully deserved an opportunity to win the title.

"There is one last game and we will do everything to win it. Then we will watch Inter's result and there won't be any kind of regrets if our victory proves not to be enough. Our season would still be a great one anyway."

Inter will have an ally in Catania coach Walter Zenga. "I will not think about Inter and the race for the Scudetto at all, I will only think about myself and Catania" the former Nerazzurri goalkeeper said after the 1-1 draw at Juventus which left his side two points above Parma.

"It will be a real battle from the first to the last minute and we are ready for it."

Source: UEFA

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