Pioli's Inter 'family' fighting to halt poor run


Inter will find a way to end their damaging winless streak as they are a "family" who fight for each other, insists coach Stefano Pioli.

Since battering Atalanta 7-1 on March 13, Inter are winless in their last five matches, going down 5-4 at Fiorentina last time out, having also suffered a shock loss at relegation-threatened Crotone.

Pioli's men host third-placed Napoli on Sunday and Inter cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to qualify for the Europa League, with the coach backing his side to break their bad run of results.

"During the week I saw the right level of focus to get out of this difficult period," Pioli said at his pre-match press conference.

"We've shown in long stretches that we have the right approach - we can go toe-to-toe with Napoli. I want the team to go out there and show conviction and character.

"A game like Inter-Napoli should provide more than enough motivation for the players. I demand that they give their best. We've lacked a bit of substance in the last few games - I want to see absolute focus from the players. 

"We're a family and we're all giving our best to get out of this situation. Our fans want the same as we do - to give everything to win this next game."

Napoli retain hope of catching second-placed Roma despite their four-point deficit and coach Maurizio Sarri wants his side to aim to win their last five games, starting at San Siro on Sunday.

"Kalidou Koulibaly was right when he said we must believe that we can win them all," Sarri told reporters on Saturday. "It might not be enough to finish second, but that doesn't depend on us.

"Inter made very good progress under Pioli. There has been a wobble, so the club opted for a training retreat. This is a strong squad, they could react strongly and it'll be a dangerous game for us. Nobody can expect an easy time of it at San Siro.

"We have a phenomenal attacking potential, so just need to find a way to stop conceding stupid goals and find more defensive stability. I hear a lot of rubbish on how to resolve that problem, like removing a midfielder and adding another striker. It's madness. We can play like that when the opposition are struggling, something we've already done and proved. I want to set a limit on the number of passes back to the goalkeeper."