Berliner Tageblatt - Inter's Inzaghi 'not obsessing' about Milan derby Scudetto shot

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Inter's Inzaghi 'not obsessing' about Milan derby Scudetto shot
Inter's Inzaghi 'not obsessing' about Milan derby Scudetto shot / Photo: © AFP/File

Inter's Inzaghi 'not obsessing' about Milan derby Scudetto shot

Simone Inzaghi said Sunday his Inter Milan team are not obsessing over their chance to win the Serie A title by beating their local rivals AC Milan.

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Inter are 14 points ahead of second-placed Milan and will claim their 20th Scudetto with five matches remaining in the season if they win Monday's hotly-anticipated city derby at the San Siro.

"We've had a magnificent season, it's been a great run. Tomorrow could be a special day for all of us. But we're not obsessing over it," coach Inzaghi told reporters.

"If tomorrow is the day then great, we're working hard so that it is, but it's not an obsession for me nor for my players."

Inter head into Monday's clash having won the last five Milan derbies, two of those wins taking Inzaghi's team to last season's Champions League final.

"The last five derbies have given us great joy, they've taken us to a Champions League final but we know tomorrow that those derbies won't mean anything," added Inzaghi.

"What matters is what we put out there on the pitch."

Earlier on Sunday Inter president Steven Zhang hinted about Inzaghi getting a reported contract extension until 2027, calling his tenure as Inter coach "a gift" when talking to Sky Sport at the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix.

"He gives me confidence and keeps the environment calm and stable. We're going to continue together," said Zhang.

Inzaghi's current deal, signed last summer, expires in June 2025 so there was no danger of him moving on after such a special season with Inter.

"I was very happy to hear what Zhang said but it wasn't a surprise as we have a good relationship," said Inzaghi.

"For now we have an objective, there will be time for everything else. We have a president and management with whom I am very happy."

Inzaghi's Milan counterpart Stefano Pioli, however, will almost certainly be out the door come the close season after a topsy-turvy season which has ended in disappointment.

The lack of a title challenge, the manner of their exit from the Europa League to Roma, a team Milan fans have long considered beneath them, and the prospect of being humiliated by Inter on Monday has turned the tide against Pioli.

On Friday Milan's leading ultras wrote a letter asking for Pioli to be replaced, with Italian media reporting Julen Lopetegui as the front-runner to take over.

"Let's not talk about me, because we've been talking about me for too long and that hasn't done anyone any good," said Pioli, whose position has been debated almost all season.

"I don't care, you journalists and fans have the right to criticise and cast judgement... The most important thing tomorrow is that there will be 70,000 fans pushing us on. Everything else we can take on later.

"The players shouldn't play for me, they should be playing for the shirt on their backs, the club, the fans. I expect a team performance."

Y.Bouchard--BTB