Moratti defends Leonardo

Inter president Massimo Moratti has moved to defend Coach Leonardo following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Parma.
Leonardo is now under increased pressure after a poor run of recent form has seen the Nerazzurri dumped out of Europe by Schalke and heavily beaten in the Milan derby, all but ending their hopes of a sixth successive Scudetto.
When taking over from Rafa Benitez in December, Leonardo started in impressive fashion, rescuing a team beset by injuries and low on confidence and coming to within a point of fierce rivals Milan at the top of the table.
The Brazilian’s fortunes have changed after a hugely disappointing last month, with any hopes of emulating the success bought to the club by Jose Mourinho now a distant memory.
Speaking to the club’s official website Inter.it, Moratti said: “Of course, when you go through a rough patch all sorts of things get thrown into the equation – more by people from the outside. But I think we should see this moment we’re going through for what it is – a drop in form caused by tiredness.
“It’s mainly physical fatigue, in my opinion, but you also get mentally tired when you can’t keep up with things physically. That’s why we haven’t been good enough in recent games.
“I don’t think Leonardo has changed much. I think he did fantastically well up to the derby. We expected a great result, but the big mistake was sending the players away to play with their national teams, and having them come back convinced they were in peak form, when they were actually very tired.”

Moratti went on to deny any approach for former coach Mourinho, who has been linked with a return to Milan in recent weeks.
“I read about that in the papers, but there’s nothing between Mourinho and the club,” concluded Moratti.
Inter face Roma at Stadio Olimpico tomorrow night, in the first leg of the Italian Cup semi-final.

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