Claudio Ranieri asked FC Internazionale Milano to "get up and fight" during his first media conference after being appointed to replace Gian Piero Gasperini as Nerazzurri coach.
Internazionale are yet to win this season and have lost four of their opening five games, including last week's UEFA Champions League curtain-raiser at home to Trabzonspor AŞ. "If I'm here it's because there were problems, it's impossible to hide that," the 59-year old said. "There was also bad luck and key players missing through injury. We just need to get up and fight, and restore confidence by earning points as quickly as possible."
The first chance to do so comes on Saturday night when Inter – on one point from three matches following Tuesday's defeat at Novara Calcio, which ended Gasperini's short reign – visit Bologna FC without Wesley Sneijder, who suffered a slight muscle injury in training today. The midfielder will try to recover for Tuesday when Inter travel to PFC CSKA Moskva, keen to kick-start their UEFA Champions League Group B bid.
"Eighteen months ago these players were considered champions and I'm sure they are eager to react after this bad start," Ranieri continued. "
I want to see that never-say-die attitude I saw when my teams faced Inter in the past. We have to fight for every ball. Now it's important to get good results, these players are used to winning and they have to start doing so very quickly."
The former Juventus and AS Roma boss admitted he was surprised to receive Inter's call. "Honestly I was thinking about having another experience abroad," said Ranieri, who has also managed Valencia CF, Club Atlético de Madrid and Chelsea FC. "However, when you get a call from a club like Inter, you can only be proud and happy. I have already visited the room with all the trophies won by this club and I'm happy to become part of the Inter family."
During his spells with Juve and Roma, Ranieri had several verbal exchanges with the then Inter coach, his Chelsea successor José Mourinho. "We were 'enemies' mostly for the media," Ranieri said of the man that masterminded the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia treble. "Helenio Herrera and Mourinho are the coaches who made history with this club. Mourinho is a coach I have always admired." Emulating those results at Inter will be Ranieri's mission.
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