Goran Pandev has pledged that FC Internazionale Milano will play on the front foot at all times when they visit PFC CSKA Moskva for the conclusion of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie holding a 1-0 lead.
The Nerazzurri created, and missed, a plethora of opportunities to post a healthier advantage in last week's first leg, and must now protect the slenderest of margins as they bid to reach the last four for the first time since 2002/03. Given the delicate balance of the tie, forward Pandev feels Inter would be foolish to take a conservative approach at the Luzhniki Stadium, believing instead that they must adopt a positive mindset and try to score an all-important away goal.
"We had a lot of chances in the first game but unfortunately we managed to score only one goal," said the 26-year-old, whose team were rewarded for an attacking display at Chelsea FC in the return leg of their first knockout round tie. "I'm not sure how many forwards we will have, but we will definitely play for a win and go forward. CSKA have a good defence, all of the players are physically strong, but hopefully we will continue to create chances on Tuesday – only this time we need to convert them."
A January arrival from S.S. Lazio, for whom he did not appear in the first half of the campaign, Pandev has become a regular in José Mourinho's starting XI. "I'm really happy to be at Inter," explained the Macedonian international. "We have a very friendly squad and all of the players and club members are united with one goal. There was a period in my career recently when I could not play for six months; I'm glad this time has passed. I'm in great shape now, playing two games per week. We are in great a rhythm and hopefully it will continue like this."
While Inter's lead in Italy has been whittled down to a solitary point of late, Pandev is putting all thoughts of Serie A to the back of his mind with a UEFA Champions League semi-final berth on the line. "This match is the most important thing for now; we are not thinking of anything else. We really want to qualify for the next round."
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