During an exclusive interview with Sky Sport, Inter winger Matteo Politano looked ahead to this weekend’s match against Sassuolo. Saturday’s encounter with the Neroverdi does of course hold special significance for the 25-year-old given the fact he spent three years playing for them in Reggio Emilia. Here is what he had to say as he prepares to face his former teammates at San Siro:
“We’ve seen that they’ve put everyone in difficulty so far, ourselves included. It will be a difficult game, especially because we don’t have the help of our fans. It will be a very complicated game.” The former Roma youth academy star made his name at Sassuolo and it was there that he first caught the eye of Inter’s chief sport officer Piero Ausilio: “I’ve played in a lot of games and I wouldn’t have expected such a start. I’m very happy, but I still have a lot to improve on.
“For me, there’s the extra motivation of looking to always do well in order to convince the coach and club to continue on this journey together. My aim is to give my best in the week in order to earn a place in the team with this prestigious shirt, to keep playing and perhaps to score a few more goals.”
After discussing his own personal goals, Politano then moved onto those of the team: “We can go far in every competition. In the Coppa Italia, we have a tough tie against Lazio, we’re in the last 32 of the Europa League and we’re on the heels of Napoli in the league. We have three very important objectives but it’s vital that we approach things one game at a time. The match against Napoli gave us lots of strength, the important thing is to keep that focus, play from the start to the end in games because we’re up against a very tough challenge on Saturday.”
The former Perugia loanee also spoke to Inter TV, focusing on what it is like to play in an empty stadium as the team did against in its most recent match: “We experienced it against Benevento, it’s a strange effect because we were used to playing there in recent months. Whenever we play, there are lots of people there and to go out in front of an empty stadium is very weird.”
While on the subject of San Siro, it has emerged that, due to Inter’s progression in the Coppa Italia, the stadium will be reopened fully for the upcoming Serie A match against Bologna rather than partially closed. The Curva Nord will instead be closed for the game versus Lazio which has been scheduled for January 31st. That said, playing in front of an empty arena did not seem to faze Luciano Spalletti’s team too much as they ran out comfortable 6-2 winners over Serie B outfit Benevento on Sunday evening.
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