LUGANO - Following the team’s first few days of training, Samir Handanovic today spoke to the press ahead of their first pre-season match against Lugano: “Pre-season is advancing with plenty of hard work and effort. The Coach didn’t surprise me because we know how he works and what he’s won, therefore, we knew what to expect. We’re working hard and the players are motivated. This is what counts.”
Hard work remains the key focal point for the journey ahead: “There are great foundations in place and we must not set ourselves any limits. We must work hard and be willing to sacrifice. I think that showing a spirit of sacrifice must be our priority. We must become a team.”
As for the latest additions to the team and the Nerazzurri’s mentality, Handanovic added: “The new arrivals are settling in really well, there hasn’t been any problems. We'll get to know each other better over time and after the emotions of every match. I’ve never heard of a game that doesn’t matter. Our attitude must always be focused on winning every match and our spirit must be to play to win.”
Last season, Handanovic received the captain’s armband and this is something which still means a great deal to the Nerazzurri’s No.1: “It's a great source of pride for me to be captain of Inter, but my attitude hasn't changed since before. You must be aware of your responsibilities and know how to act in difficult moments but there must be many captains within a team.”
Training so far has consisted of physical and mental strain, as well as focus and determination: “We’re all good players on paper but when you start to play there is also the mental aspect to consider. There are many matches and then you’ll see. Many teams that have won in Italy have conceded fewer goals. The defence can be one of our strong points, and we must start from there. We’re training with a three-man defence. Godin still hasn’t arrived but there are other lads available and we’re working on this.”
Lastly, he lauded the recent return of Gabriele Oriali, who’s been appointed as First Team Technical Manager: “Oriali is here to help us regain certain values and discipline. For this reason, his return was fundamental."