NEWS
Wednesday August 1 2012
Strama: 'Moratti protects Inter'

Andrea Stramaccioni admits he is still “protected” by President Massimo Moratti in the chaos of Inter as he prepares for the Europa League preliminary round.

The Coach was promoted from the Primavera youth team four months ago and the caretaker was surprisingly given the opportunity to begin a full season.

“I am still trying to understand the situation and am learning something, but it’s difficult to explain what it’s like to be in charge of a side like Inter,” he told Il Giornale newspaper.

“The step up from Primavera to senior squad is a chasm. It’s a whole other world, but it is nice to feel protected by President Moratti and I realise this is an advantage not many have had in the past.”

Nicknamed the ‘Italian Andre Villas Boas,’ the 36-year-old tactician had never been at the helm of a senior side before.

He was propelled into the spotlight after Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal and is now preparing for his European debut against Hajduk Split on Thursday.

“I talked with the President right from my first day at the Primavera side. He wanted to know about the training schedule, the players and even the smaller details. Now we discuss things and share our ideas, which I consider to be a fundamental change in our rapport.

“When did I wonder if I’d be confirmed on the bench? I asked myself the question for the first time after Parma-Inter in Week 36, a defeat that practically put us out of the Champions League race. It was going badly and there were no more untouchables, so I could see everything being turned upside down and wasn’t sure what to say in my Press conference.

“It was the President who calmed me down and called to say we didn’t deserve to lose and did well anyway. We were out of the Champions League places. I don’t know how many Presidents would’ve reacted that way.

“I am training myself to get used to the precarious nature of being a Serie A Coach. I feel happy on the field, as it’s my home, but off it is another matter. I am always perplexed by how rapidly people and teams are judged.”

There are big changes afoot at San Siro, as Lucio and Diego Forlan had their contracts terminated by mutual consent, while Andrea Poli and Mauro Zarate’s loans were not made permanent.

“When I arrived, Poli was considered to be a part of the team. Then when the time came to finalise a deal that seemed simple, it all got more complicated. It was purely an issue of money,” explained Stramaccioni.

Sulley Muntari went to Milan, while Julio Cesar, Giampaolo Pazzini, Douglas Maicon and Andrea Ranocchia are all expected to leave Inter too.

“Players still have that hunger to play at high levels and I cannot criticise that. The rest of what I think, I will keep that to myself.”

Stramaccioni faces a very early start to his campaign, as the Nerazzurri take on Hajduk Split tomorrow in the first leg of the Europa League preliminary round.

“We arrive in Split prepared both mentally and physically. Admittedly, August 2 is a strange date for Italian football to play an official match.”

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