Luciano Spalletti hoping Inter can kick-start Serie A season in Milan derby
Inter are fourth in Serie A, one point ahead of Roma and seven clear of Milan.
Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti insists he is not concerned about the threat posed by AC Milan who are looking to extend their unbeaten run to 14 games on Sunday.
Inter have struggled with just two wins from their last 13 games in all competitions but the Milan derby is a chance for Spalletti’s side to kick-start their season.
Spalletti referred to the fixture as “the game of our future” knowing victory would help his side edge closer to securing a place in next season’s Champions League.
“I am not worried by Milan, I only want to make sure my own players know what to do,” he said in his pre-match press conference.
“Milan have a lot of quality at their disposal, but I am convinced Inter have just as much.
“What I want to see tomorrow is the courage to make important decisions and determined looks on their faces. This game is our future.
“Winning the Derby di Milano for us means winning a game that writes a page in the history books of the club. It’s one of the most wonderful fixtures that remains in the memory and brings enthusiasm.
“If we want to qualify for the Champions League, there are no more moments that we can postpone. It is the time to take responsibility. We have to take our future into our own hands.”
Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso says he is treating the derby as a final.
Seven points behind a Champions League spot, Gattuso knows his side can not afford to slip up against their arch rivals, whose manager has more experience of managing derbies than he does.
“If we want to think of a Champions League place, then this is like a final,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “We’re gambling it all.
“The thing I fear the most is the history of the derby, as usually the team that is struggling tends to win.
“I don’t like people saying we are the favourites, because they are seven points ahead of us.
“I fear Luciano Spalletti, who has a lot of experience in derbies, both in Rome and Milan, so he knows how to handle these games.
“As long as my players show respect – not for me, but for the locker room, their team-mates and the club – I will tear my heart out of my chest and let them play keepy-uppy with it.”