Saturday January 9, 2016
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Inter Milan's coach Roberto Mancini said his prime objective is to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League for the first time since the 2011-2012 season. — Reuters picInter Milan's coach Roberto Mancini said his prime objective is to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League for the first time since the 2011-2012 season. — Reuters picMILAN, Jan 9 — Champions League-chasing Inter Milan are happy to keep on scraping wins in Serie A this season if it means collecting all three points, says coach Roberto Mancini.

Inter have won nine of their 17 games so far by a scoreline of 1-0 and host Sassuolo tomorrow looking to protect their one-point lead over Fiorentina and Napoli.

Although winning a first Serie A title since 2010 would be welcomed by the club and its fans, Mancini’s prime objective is to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.

The Italian, speaking to media today, said he is unconcerned by his side’s lack of goals as long as they come up with the three points.

“I love a 1-0 win and if we win the next 15 matches by that scoreline then that would be perfect,” Mancini said.

“There is so much chatter but we like hearing other people talk about us.”

Inter have topped the league since before Christmas but in what is the tightest Serie A race since the 1993-94 season, the Nerazzurri are sure to face a tough second half of the campaign.

Fiorentina, Napoli and champions Juventus have shown title-winning credentials and slips-ups from here on will prove costly.

Sassuolo, considered one of the league’s toughest ‘smaller’ sides, moved up to sixth place at 11 points behind Inter last week. 

Mancini said it will be crucial for his defence to continue the mean streak that has seen them ship just 11 goals in 17 games so far.

“Sassuolo are arguably better on the road than they are at home and they certainly don’t set out to defend,” added Mancini. 

“They’ve been together for a while and have some really good players up front. We need to defend well, keep it tight for them and take our chances.” — AFP

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