Inter Milan vs Lazio - Spalletti wants players to show poor form is down to 'coincidence'

Posted Saturday, December 30, 2017 by PA

Luciano Spalletti is keen to prove that Inter Milan's poor run is down to "coincidence" rather a lack of conviction at San Siro.

The Nerazzurri topped the Serie A table and were unbeaten until losing at home to Udinese allowed Napoli and reigning champions Juventus to nudge them down into third place.

Before the Udinese game came the embarrassing slog against minnows Pordenone in the Coppa Italia and in the next round of that competition, Inter were this week beaten by city rivals AC Milan.

They host Lazio in the first league game since a 1-0 reverse at Sassuolo and head coach Spalletti is seeking a morale-boosting result against the similarly inconsistent club from the capital.

He told "There are moments of difficulty in football and it's vital that my players let me see whether it's down to coincidence or something else.

"I can see that all the players are demoralised by what's happened. They're strong players who are in a strong team on merit. Nothing has happened by chance.

"Those who wear these colours need to know how to react and not shy away from things."

Midfielder Roberto Gagliardini has borne much of the brunt of the criticism that has followed Inter's recent outings but Spalletti has backed the former Atalanta man to kick on and inspire the team.

"Gagliardini is a strong player, he's had some very good games," added the Nerazzurri boss.

"At some points he's not played to his potential but that's nothing strange, everything is fine with him.

"I think he'll keep improving, he really could be more attacking. He's an important asset."

Defenders Danilo D'Ambrosio and Miranda are missing through injury while fifth-placed Lazio travel to San Siro without forwards Felipe Caicedo and Simone Palombi.

The Biancocelesti recently won six in a row to announce their candidacy for a Champions League place but they claimed just one victory from five subsequent outings before thrashing Crotone.

Head coach Simone Inzaghi told his club's official website: "We are going to Milan to play an important game. It will not be decisive but it will be very important as we are up against a strong team.

"We will have to be at 120 per cent of our ability to get a positive result.

"The boys are prepared. We know we are facing a team who have lost three games and have suffered the dip that happens to all teams over the course of a season.

"The Nerazzurri have great quality and a very good coach that I respect. The guys know what they're up against."

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