Skip to main content

Inter can't rely just on Perisic and Icardi, warns Spalletti

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti has challenged his squad to follow the example set by Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi in the team's winning start to the campaign.

The Nerazzurri sit joint top of Serie A after three wins from as many games in 2017-18, having picked up impressive triumphs over Fiorentina and Roma already, with a trip to last season's great escapees Crotone to come on Saturday.

Icardi and Perisic are responsible for seven of the eight goals scored by Inter this term. Indeed, Argentina international Icardi has scored in all three games this term.

Perisic committed to a new five-year deal last week after Inter fended off interest in the transfer window from Manchester United.

Spalletti is enthused with the work of his two key players, but knows they cannot continue to do it alone if Inter are to challenge the top four this season.

"They are two exceptional players but we also have other options," Spalletti told a news conference. 

"Mauro and Ivan have great quality but we are sure that we have a collective group which works and looks to give its all in every game.

"We'll need goals from all of our players to make the Champions League."

See more

Goals from Icardi and Perisic saw off promoted SPAL 2-0 last time out and Spalletti has demanded similar professionalism against Crotone, who won six of their final nine games last term to scramble to safety.

"There's a thin line between confidence and arrogance. You don't have to think that you're strong," Spalletti said.

"You have to think you're top of the class, not the best. I saw the right attitude against SPAL. We sacrificed ourselves as a team.

"Games like these aren't fillers. We always have to assert ourselves. We still have to play 35 games and they're all important.

"Everything should be approached in the best way. I know Crotone and their coach [Davide Nicola] well.

"They seemed doomed, yet they ended up saving themselves. I know what it's like to talk to a team that are doomed, and he managed to do something important."