Roberto Mancini has told his Inter players not to feel sorry for themselves despite being without a win in seven games ahead of Saturday’s Serie A clash at Verona.
Mancini has not had the impact Inter owner Erick Thohir hoped for in his second spell with the 18-time Italian champions.
Inter were held to a 1-1 draw against crisis club Parma last weekend – having lost their last away game 1-0 at Sampdoria – and are down in mid-table spot with nine league games remaining, as well as being out of the UEFA Europa League and Coppa Italia.
Mancini this week claimed he still has the backing of Thohir and the former Italy forward has called on his players to show some consistency between now and the end of the season.
He told Sky Sport 24: “You might be depressed until midnight after the game, but then it must end there.
“You have to think positive even when things are not going well. You just need to get on with your job in the right frame of mind.
“I’m not depressed, I’m sad about the game. I’ve spoken to the president Thohir. He remains confident and is always a very positive person.
“We have to play with the same spirit we showed against Samp, not as we did against Parma. Sometimes you get years like this, but all things considered I think the players have improved loads.
“We’re alternating decent displays with less decent ones and that’s something you have to go through on your way to becoming a great team. I think the fans can understand that and I hope they’ll stick close behind us.”
Verona looked set for a comfortable home victory when they led struggling Cesena 3-0 with 20 minutes remaining on Saturday, but they fell to pieces in the last 20 minutes.
Cesena scored three times in the space of 11 minutes to salvage an unlikely point, leaving Verona coach Andrea Mandorlini shell-shocked.
Mandorlini will be looking to Luca Toni to continue his rich vein of form this weekend, with the striker’s double against Cesena taking his tally to nine goals in his last eight games – and 16 for the season in all competitions.
The veteran was on target in November’s 2-2 draw at San Siro, with Mauro Icardi – back from suspension along with Nemanja Vidic – netting twice before Gary Medel was sent off and Nicolas Lopez levelled late on for Verona.