Inter Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur - Inter Milan will not be overawed by Tottenham

Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by PA

Inter Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur - Inter Milan will not be overawed by Tottenham

Inter Milan head coach Luciano Spalletti says his side will not be overawed by Tottenham in Tuesday’s Champions League opener.

The Serie A side welcome Spurs to the San Siro for their opening Group B game and they could not be in a much worse state, having won just one of their first four league games.

Inter are back in the elite European competition for the first time since 2011-2012 and Spalletti says they are fearing no one.

He said: “They’re very strong but we’re not inferior and we have great desire to be here.

“Matches such as the Tottenham one mean a lot and they can give us a lot in terms of enthusiasm and belief.

“I’ve had the fortune of taking part in the Champions League on multiple occasions. It’s a competition that delivers extraordinary emotions that you can’t do without after.

“We’ve seen Tottenham’s last games. They’re a very strong team, as are Inter.

“Are they the favourites? I think that my players have enough will and determination to be in this competition that we spent an entire season fighting for, we cannot feel any pressure or be intimidated by the English players’ greater experience.

“Rather, I believe that this match is the chance to kick into gear.”

The form of Tottenham striker Harry Kane has received plenty of attention in England but Spalletti still believes he is the main worry for his side.

He added: “To me, Harry Kane seems to be in excellent shape and he’s a very important player for how they play. He’s very good at laying the ball off and always picking out his team-mates in the right way.”

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says his side are not realistic contenders for any competition this season unless they improve considerably.

Spurs won their opening three games of the Premier League, including a 3-0 success at Manchester United, to raise expectations that they could be a real threat for trophies this term.

But they have since lost back-to-back league games against Watford and Liverpool and Pochettino thinks they are way off being challengers.

He said: “We are not realistic contenders in any single competition, that is my view. If we show the same face as against Watford, it’s impossible to be a contender. If we show the face (we showed against) Liverpool, it will be so difficult.

“If we show some of what we did against Manchester United then maybe yes. I explained after Old Trafford it was difficult to keep the feet on the grass and believe that the job was done.

“But we need to work harder and be more competitive and improve. The last two defeats are so good but it is a wake-up call and we have to try and improve and we have time. It is only the start of the season.”

Pochettino, when asked if he was feeling confident heading into the European campaign, gave this unusual analogy: “Experience is experience but you need to apply it, plus the hunger, plus the motivation, plus being clever. If you are not clever it is not going to help you in the future.

“It is like a cow that for every single day for 10 years doesn’t see the train cross at the same time and if you ask the cow what time the train is going to come, he is not going to have the right answer.

“Football is the same, motivation, circumstance, many things in football are so important. If you show the same hunger, same motivation, if you fight in the right way, there are many things that can keep you in the same way as the experience.”

Spurs travelled to Milan without injured trio Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko, while Pochettino has also chosen to surprisingly leave Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld in London.

On the pair’s omission, the Argentinian said: “It’s a technical decision. What does it mean? It’s a technical decision. You can look it up, find it in the dictionary. A technical decision. Tactical is on the pitch.

“Yeah, maybe tactical is outside of the pitch too. But it’s technical decision, tactical decision, it’s a decision in the end.

“You cannot bring 25 players. You can only play 11 players with seven on the bench. That is the reason.

“You are clever enough to try to understand. This is my fifth season, I never punish players because you win or lose.

“It’s the plan. The plan is keep them (in London) and use different players to play tomorrow.

“There’s nothing behind the decision. It’s only that we’re going to play with different players tomorrow.

“Like when you play with Toby or Kieran, it’s another player out. The best position is to play with different players.”

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