Mancini sees Inter progress in frustrating season


Roberto Mancini is happy with the progress made by Inter despite the club letting a commanding lead in the Serie A slip to finish in fourth place and without Champions League qualification.

Inter coach Mancini had the Italian giants flying high early on in the season before an inexplicable loss of form prior to the winter break left them on the back foot and unable to recover.

They eventually finished 24 points off the title-winning pace set by Juventus, while they were 13 points adrift of third place and the Champions League.

But Mancini said the progress his side had made was remarkable and the experiences of 2015-16 would serve them well heading into next term.

"We got off to a good start and that was very important for us. It was difficult to get the team running like clockwork because we'd brought in lots of new faces and they needed to get to know each other," Mancini told the club's official channel as he reviewed the season that was.

"We even managed to end the transfer market in the black and despite being top of the league some people still criticised us. Regardless of our position in the table and the fact we weren't scoring many, I think the season started really well."

Inter beat city-rivals AC Milan and Roma, and managed a draw against Juve to continue their fine start before everything started to unravel.

"I think it started with Atalanta [a 1-1 draw]. There was a series of games where we should have done better - against Lazio, Carpi, Sassuolo... although there was the win over Empoli in the middle," the former Manchester City manager said.

And those games would prove costly, as Mancini said there was only one match during the season he felt his team was truly outplayed in.

"Only in the away game against Juventus were we outdone but that's because we gave away chances," he said.

"We never really struggled against the sides that finished above us and that shows we've got good foundations in place. It's not all bad, as some people would have you believe. I think we're on the right track to becoming a team that can challenge for the title again.

"Inter deserve to be in the Champions League for the club that we are, regardless of the players or coaches.

"We're disappointed we couldn't make it this year but we know there's a good core to the team now and if we can add to it a little, making as few mistakes as possible, I think we're there or thereabouts."