Ranieri stands by Inter despite Lecce loss

A shock-loss to relegation candidates Lecce last Sunday saw Inter-Milan's seven-win streak come to a halt.

Football News: Lecce vs Inter

Inter Milan manager Claudio Ranieri felt his team gave their best despite losing, telling the Inter Press Office that there was not much else his players could do.

"We went up against a keeper in great form, who grew throughout the match while we became agitated. They scored in our strongest moment, then Benassi, the post, the two goals by us rightly disallowed," said the Inter boss.

"I can't say anything bad about my lads because they gave it their all, and when these kinds of things happen we need to remain calm."

Another worthy point of discussion was the substuition of star playmaker Wesley Sneijder, a decision that Ranieri made to instill some security. The Italian manager reverted to a 4-4-2 formation from 4-3-1-2, after taking off the Dutch player.

"He's a playmaker, and I can't restrict him to the flanks. He can play in a 4-4-1-1. but we must try to assimilate the diamond.

"Today [Sunday] we tried, but I saw that the team still wasn't able to find itself.

"It's hard to reintegrate players in the team because either I go with Sneijder and a forward or I go with the diamond midfield, which we are still not interpreting in the best way at this moment."

Ranieri remains confident that his team have the mental strength and talent to finish in the top three, stating that Inter-Milan still have time on their side. 

"The season is long, and in the important and decisive moments the champions must make their presence felt. I'm convinced that this team can still give a lot, and integrating Forlan and Sneijder can give us great quality. Our goal now is third place, and then we'll see what happens," concluded Ranieri.

Inter will try to reignite their Serie A campaign when they face Palermo on Wednesday night.

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