Mancini: I never thought I’d return to Inter
MILAN (AP) — Roberto Mancini never thought he would return to Inter Milan and vowed on Saturday to work hard to recreate the glory days of his first spell in charge.
Inter reappointed Mancini on Friday, hours after firing Walter Mazzarri following a poor run of results.
“I am very happy,” Mancini said at his presentation. “I never thought I would return to Inter but they called me, we met, they explained the project to me and I think it can be another nice story. I believe in this project, otherwise I wouldn’t have accepted the job.
“But I do not have a magic wand, we have to get back to winning via hard work. Inter is a great club and I am very happy to have accepted even if when you return to a place where you’ve done good work then there’s everything to lose.”
Before the press conference Mancini held up an Inter shirt bearing his name and 226 — the number of matches he was in charge of Milan between 2004-2008.
Mancini spent four years at the San Siro, winning two Italian Cups and three straight league titles — although one was awarded after being stripped from Juventus for match-fixing.
There had been reports of Mancini’s imminent return for several months but the 49-year-old Italian insisted his first contact with the club was a phone call on Thursday night and that “it all happened very fast.”
Inter has won only two of its past seven league matches and fallen to ninth place in Serie A.
“I know that we need to get back to winning quickly and I need to work immediately, right from the first training session,” Mancini said.
“I need to get to know the squad first before seeing what we need. It’s not so easy to sign players in January, as he either has to be a world class star or you risk signing someone who struggles to adapt quickly.”
There have been suggestions Mancini is considering signing Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli, who was at the club during Mancini’s first spell at Inter and at Manchester City together.
Balotelli has scored only two goals in 14 appearances for Liverpool — and none in the Premier League — since transferring from AC Milan in August.
“Mario is happy at Liverpool, he has a great chance and was fortunate enough to go back to one of England’s biggest clubs,” Mancini said. “He has to make the most of this opportunity.”