Luciano Spalletti has played down comparisons with former Inter coach Jose Mourinho despite his side’s fine start to the Serie A season.
The Nerazzurri have not won the Scudetto since Mourinho’s men won the treble – including the Champions League – in 2009-10, but they appear to be in the title race this term as they trail leaders Napoli by just two points ahead of hosting Torino on Sunday.
Although this is Spalletti’s first season at San Siro, he is keen for the praise and attention for recent results to be directed towards the players and supporters, rather than himself, as he believes his Inter career is only just beginning.
“These comparisons with Mourinho or even Giovanni Trapattoni are ridiculous, not just because of how much they won,” he told a pre-match news conference.
“The memory of Mourinho is of a beautiful sculpture, whereas I just picked up the scalpel and need to start moulding.
“The only thing that can be compared to that Inter now is the mood of these fantastic fans. They are our ‘special 73,000 rather than a ‘special one’.
“Honestly, I know [the media] are trying to be nice, but it’s better if you stop with the comparisons and focus on praising the players. A coach can do nothing without great players.”
And Spalletti remains wary of the threat of Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Torino and star forward Andrea Belotti this weekend.
“We are similar characters, Mihajlovic and I,” he added. “He is really determined, even in press conferences, so the team reflects what he was like as a player.
“They know him well here. He is very experienced and did great things at Inter as both a player and assistant coach.
“We must be wary of Torino on the counter, especially when Andrea Belotti sells a dummy, because you won’t get him back after that. You have to read his movement well and anticipate.”