Luciano Spalletti backs Inter Milan to seal Champions League spot

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has admitted that the players are disappointed after the Europa League exit but they must regroup and concentrate on the top four race in the Serie A. The Nerazzurri suffered a surprise 1-0 aggregate defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt during the round of 16 stage of the Europa League and this ended the club’s prospects of qualifying for the Champions League by winning the competition.

Speaking to reporters, Spalletti acknowledged that there was plenty of sorrow following the unexpected defeat to Frankfurt, where Luka Jovic’s sole goal at the San Siro made the difference. He added that the team must dust off the disappointment and concentrate on the finishing as high as possible in the Serie A.

He said: “​There is sorrow for what happened and there are reasons that could have led to what happened. We had to go into the game differently because in the first leg we saw that there were chances to pass the round. Now we need to re-establish roles and tasks because we have to re-order the behaviours and the decisions to be made. We want to get to Champions League qualification before anyone else. Milan are a strong team and are showing it. The goal is to arrive in the top 4, if possible, second or third.”

Inter were comfortably holding the third position in the standings at the winter break and they appeared on course to compete with Napoli for the second spot with a five-point deficit. However, since the turn of the year, their form has nosedived and a run of just three wins from eight matches has dropped them to fourth with Roma breathing down their necks with a three-point deficit.

As such, there have no room for error and the next match remains a crucial one against AC Milan in the San Siro derby. The Rossoneri are currently one of the in-form teams in the Serie A with a five-match winning streak and Inter need to produce their best to come up with something from the game.