19 September 2014 18:25
Walter Mazzarri has warned his Inter side not to rest on their laurels ahead of Sunday’s tricky Serie A visit to Palermo.
Inter have enjoyed a superb start to the campaign, winning four and drawing one of their five competitive fixtures without conceding a goal.
Head coach Mazzarri witnessed his side embarrass Sassuolo 7-0 at San Siro last Sunday, with Mauro Icardi stealing the show with a hat-trick.
The Milan outfit followed that impressive showing by grinding out a 1-0 win at Dnipro in their UEFA Europa League Group F opener on Thursday, Danilo D’Ambrosio’s 71st-minute strike doing the damage.
Mazzarri is now preparing his side for a third match in the space of eight days when Inter travel to the Stadio Barbera Palermo to face Giuseppe Iachini’s recently promoted side.
While Inter have impressed in the busy run, Mazzarri is keen for his side not to congratulate themselves too soon ahead of the clash with Palermo – a side he rates highly.
“We will have to recover quickly because we have a match against Palermo waiting,” Mazzarri said. “It will not be easy, in the first two matches of the season Palermo have collected less points than they deserved.
“Iachini is a great coach and he’s good at preparing the team. It’s going to be a tough game.”
With Inter facing a European campaign to go with their domestic commitments, Mazzarri is well aware that he will have to utilise his entire squad.
“We need everyone, everyone should feel like starters, in the hope of always having many commitments,” he added. “This would mean that we are still in the running for the Europa League.”
Mateo Kovacic (foot) and Yuto Nagatomo (knock) sat out the Dnipro fixture and the pair remain a doubt for the weekend.
Palermo returned to the Italian top-flight last season after spending the 2013-14 campaign in Serie B, where they finished champions.
Thus far, Iachini’s men have drawn 1-1 with Sampdoria and lost 2-1 at Verona and Inter are sure to start as favourites for Sunday’s match.
However, Palermo defender Sinisa Andjelkovic fancies his team to pull off an early upset.
“They have no weaknesses,” he told Corriere dello Sport. “We must study them in detail and repeat the performance levels shown against Sampdoria and Verona because, whatever people may say, we played well.
“Palermo need to be protagonists, without fear. Can we surprise Inter? Yes we can.”
The last time the two sides met in Serie A, Palermo ran out 1-0 winners in April 2013.