New Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi is bullish about his side’s progress in pre-season after edging Lugano on penalties a month out from the start of the 2021-22 Serie A campaign.
Inzaghi took over from the departed Antonio Conte at the Italian champions this off-season with high expectations following last term’s breakthrough Scudetto.
Inter’s off-season leadership change along with the absence of several players in pre-season, following their Euro 2020 and Copa America commitments, has created some uncertainty about their readiness for their title defence.
The Nerazzurri’s opening game of the new Serie A campaign is at home on August 22 against Genoa.
“The club is doing a great job and we’ll be ready to go by August 22,” Inzaghi told Inter TV after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Lugano, which the Nerazzurri won on penalties.
“It would be wonderful if we could celebrate with our fans welcoming the champions on the opening day, after a year and a half with empty stadiums. The support they give us makes such a difference, as we saw tonight.”
Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic were among those absent for the friendly with Lugano, which will be followed by matches against Pro Vercelli on Wednesday and Arsenal next Monday.
“Little by little we’ll introduce the new players as they arrive,” Inzaghi said. “[Stefan] De Vrij and [Marcelo] Brozovic will be back in the next few days.”
He added: “[The Primavera players] are doing a great job but I knew they’d be up to it because Inter have fantastic academy. They need to keep it up though because we’re going to need them until August at least.”
— Inter (@Inter_en) July 18, 2021