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SPALLETTI DEMANDS CHARACTER AND COMMITMENT

"We want to be a great side, one worthy of Inter. When you’re part of Inter it gets under your skin," said the Nerazzurri boss in Brunico

RISCONE DI BRUNICOLuciano Spalletti called for his side to show character and give their all this season as he held his first press conference of the 2017/18 campaign at the Riscone di Brunico training centre.

"The players’ character will be vital," said Spalletti. "We mustn’t ever think a game is already won – we need to try to move in the same direction for all 90 minutes. We want to fight until the very last game to finish in the top four in Serie A. If we achieve that it’ll be down to constant hard work – we need to strike the right balance.

"We need to be tough and compact. We have to show character and give everything we have this season. We want to be a great side, one worthy of Inter. When you’re part of Inter it gets under your skin. I received lots of messages before the training camp, including one from [Jose] Mourinho, who wished me good luck and helped me to understand what it means to love this club."

Spalletti was in buoyant mood ahead of Inter’s first friendly of the season on Sunday.

"The vibes are positive because I’m convinced that this team has a lot of quality," he said. "Naturally, we’ve spoken about the journey we’re about to embark on together. The players need to give me what I’ve left behind – I left behind the Champions League to coach Inter and they need to put me back there.

"Everyone has the best intentions and is ready and willing to listen and head in the right direction together. We need to be as professional as possible. I’m sure that there will be some players that will prove people’s opinions about their ability wrong."

The Nerazzurri coach also spoke about a number of individual players, starting with midfielder Marcelo Brozovic.

"A lot will depend on his wishes. His quality is there for all to see. He’s a complete player, but he needs to be more consistent," said Spalletti.

Spalletti had warm words for Mauro Icardi.

"He’s a great player, especially in the penalty box. Anyone would love to have a striker like him. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do elsewhere on the pitch. We all know what he’s capable of in the penalty box and it’s mightily impressive."

Questions followed about Ivan Perisic, but Spalletti was keen to steer the conversation away from specific names.

"We can’t go through every player in the squad. The quality of these players is beyond question, but I need time to build up an overview of the squad," he said.

Lastly, Spalletti said a few words about Inter’s transfer plans.

"We’ll be ready," he confirmed. "We’ll buy players that can fit into the squad, and a few players will leave. But it’s not just buying players that determines the results you achieve – it comes down to who you buy, how they integrate, how hard you work. And we have a lot of work to do."

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