MILAN (Reuters) - If Juventus are angry after losing to Napoli in Serie A, then opponents Inter Milan are ‘ferocious’ after their long trophy drought, coach Luciano Spalletti said on Friday.
Inter have a chance to derail Juve’s chase for a seventh successive title when the two sides meet at San Siro on Saturday and boost their own hopes of qualifying for the Champions League after a six-season absence.
“Juve are angry after the Napoli defeat? And how must we be after seven years without winning anything?” Spalletti asked reporters on Friday. “We must be ferocious.”
Juve lead Serie A by one point after losing 1-0 to second-placed Napoli last Sunday and defeat by Inter will give their rivals a chance to go top.
But, although Inter’s fans would love to throw a spanner in Juventus’ works, Spalletti was only interested in his own team.
“I’m interested in what the three points mean for us, not denying three points from Juventus,” he said.
Inter, who have not won a trophy since lifting the Coppa Italia in 2011, were top of the table when the teams met in December, then suffered a slump and have now stabilised.
Needing a top-four finish to reach the Champions League, they are fifth, one point behind AS Roma and Lazio.
“Nobody handed us those results at the start of the season. They came because of our abilities, then we learnt to deal with our limitations,” said Spalletti.
“Now, we’re a more solid side compared to some months ago, we’ve dealt with adversity and got through it. We’re more self-aware.”
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Christian Radnedge