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Mancini expects Inter challenge next season

The Milan giants have endured a turbulent campaign, initially struggling in the bottom half of the table under the stewardship of Walter Mazzarri before making a slight improvement under Mancini.

Since Mancini's return to the club in November, Inter have risen to eighth, but they have been far from impressive and go into Sunday's clash with Sampdoria on the back of three successive league matches without a win.

Mancini acknowledged that his side have had their difficulties in recent months, but he is convinced that Inter will be fighting alongside Juventus at the top of the table next season.

"There have been some difficulties," he told reporters. "But the guys have always done their best.

"For me, the group has improved, but unfortunately the results are not proving us right. 

"It takes patience, but I'm sure the best moments will come and Inter will be fighting at the summit next year. 

"We will work together during the summer and new players that can help those who are already in the team will arrive. 

"Working at Inter is inspiring and I'm sure we will find the resources to build a competitive team."