Mancini: Inter must go for the Serie A title

The Nerazzurri coach is not reading too much into the fact that his side are top of the table but still feels the San Siro side must aim to win the league

Roberto Mancini did his best to play down talk of Inter as potential Serie A champions after Sunday’s derby win over AC Milan but admitted that the Nerazzurri are determined to fight for the Scudetto.

After seeing off Atalanta and Carpi in their opening two fixtures, Inter maintained their 100 per cent record thanks to a second-half strike from Fredy Guarin.

Mancini, though, admitted afterwards taht he was not entirely satisfied with the performance and argued that it would be foolish to read too much into the fact that Inter now sit top of the table, with eight points between them and reigning champions Juventus.

“It’s not so easy to win the derby in only the third round of the season, when the teams are not at 100 per cent,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“Having said that, we did some good things and other things not so well.

“It’s too early to talk about the Scudetto. The league only settles after 12 or 15 games.

“We still have a lot of work to do and then there’s Juventus, who are in a false position.

“The Bianconeri, with Roma and Napoli, will be the teams challenging at the end.

“The table doesn’t matter much now. The Scudetto race is long, we have work to do.

“As I said last week, big clubs must start out targeting the ultimate prize. Then you need luck, consistency and other things to go your way.

“We are only in week three and football can change in the space of 90 minutes. These results must give us the confidence to carry on this path.

“Other squads are better placed to win the Scudetto, but we are Inter and we must go for it.”

Mancini was delighted with the efforts of debutants Ivan Perisic and Felipe Melo, as well as makeshift centre-back Gary Medel, who replaced the injured Miranda alongside Jeison Murillo at the heart of the Inter defence.

“Perisic played in a new role for him. He had some difficulties at first but then he improved,” said the former Manchester City boss.

“Medel can play anywhere and there’s almost always room in my team for him. He’s clever, experienced, and it went well for him.

“I trained Melo at Galatasaray and he’s a great player. He’s experienced, can do everything and is determined – not in a bad way. He had a great game.”

Mario Balotelli hit the post and forced Samir Handanovic into a smart save during a scintillating second-half cameo and Mancini admitted that his former charge had him worried.

“Mario had us in trouble when he came on, we shouldn’t have let him shoot,” he added.

Meanwhile, match-winner Guarin was also reluctant to talk about winning the Scudetto, preferring instead to thank Mancini for starting him.

“It’s a bit early for that. We’ve shown we’ve got more quality but we need to keep taking things one game at a time,” the Colombian stated.

“But obviously it’s nice that my goal that will go down in the history of this massive fixture.

“But what matters to me is that I repay the coach and the team for their faith in me,” the Colombian said.

“We played really well tonight and showed we have big ambitions to take Inter back to the top.”

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