Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said that he was positively impressed by the warm hospitality shown by the Maltese officials and fans and hopes that this short training camp here will help the team arrive for the Serie A restart next month in the best possible shape.
The Nerazzurri coach was speaking to the media just a day after the Serie A club played their first friendly in Malta when they beat Gżira United 6-1 at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.
They will play their second friendly against Red Bull Salzburg at the Tony Bezzina Stadium this evening (kick-off: 6pm).
Inzaghi said that he was pleased with his team’s efforts against a Gżira United side which he believed had a good level of football.
“I am very satisfied with how things have gone so far,” Inzaghi told a news conference.
“We received a warm welcome from everyone and we found the training pitches in very good condition. We played our first match on Monday against a very competitive Gżira United side and I was pleased with the effort put in by my players.
“Our goal is to work really hard during this camp to ensure we arrive for the Serie A restart on January 4 in the best condition.”
Inter arrived in Malta without a number of key players who are currently playing in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana and Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku were two Inter players in the headlines in the past few days after their respective country’s elimination from the World Cup.
Onana left the Cameroon camp before their second group match against Serbia after a clash with coach Rigobert Song while Lukaku made the news after missing a series of chances in Belgium’s goalless draw against Croatia that ended their run in Qatar.
“I spoke with both Onana and Lukaku after the cup elimination,” Inzaghi said.
“They were in a different mood. Onana was disappointed for a miscommunication with his coach. I never had any problems with him because since he came with us he has always been very professional and never said anything when he started on the bench.
“On the other hand, Lukaku was disappointed for missing all the scoring chances. I spoke with him at length that he should be happy with himself as Belgium had their best chances when he was on the field.
“Hopefully now they will be back on Friday in Milan and will prepare to continue the campaign with us.”
Inzaghi said that one of his main concerns during the Malta camp is to try and improve the team’s defensive play, particularly after seeing his team concede a lot of goals this season.
“It’s a question of getting into details of our defensive organisation to ensure we show more solidity when the championship restarts next month,” Inzaghi said.
“Looking at our run in the league, we won ten of the opening 15 matches and still it was not enough to keep the pace with runaway leaders Napoli who look to be on a league of their own.
“There are still 23 matches to go till the end of the championship it will be important that we start well come January 4 if we are to put ourselves back in contention to challenge for the title.”
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