Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti appears to have quickly settled into the job of guiding a club he joined last month back into the upper echelons of Serie A after the side slumped to a disappointing seventh-place finish last season.
The former Roma coach led the side to friendly wins over Bayern Munich and Chelsea in Singapore, following a victory over Lyon in China last week, and admitted he was amazed at how quickly his squad had adapted to his methods.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the level of professionalism of the players,” Spalletti told reporters on Saturday after his side claimed the International Champions Cup Singapore tournament with a 2-1 win over the English champions.
“As you know, last season was a little bit difficult and there appeared to be a distinct lack of concentration throughout the campaign and that really didn’t help the team,” he added.
Goals from Stevan Jovetic and Ivan Perisic had put Inter into a commanding lead before a bizarre Geoffrey Kondogbia own goal gave Chelsea hope of a recovery, and Spalletti believes his players need to focus on keeping intensity levels high.
“I feel they have made a lot of progress since we started working together but I also have to say that there were still a few careless mistakes today after we had gone 2-0 ahead,” the 58-year-old Italian added.
“However, we have been playing a lot of games so close to each other, around five in a couple of weeks, and the last of them was just two days ago.
“So you can say there are a lot of different reasons for why the team had a lack of attention for all of the game, but overall I have been surprised and we are definitely working in the right direction.
Spalletti was also full of praise for the organisation of the tournament and while doubting whether he would like to participate in the event in the future, he hinted that another trip to Southeast Asia would be something he would relish.
“The tournament was great and came at a time when the team is supposed to be training for the new season,” he added.
“There were a lot of games close together, however, so I am not sure if we want to repeat that next year but I would love to come back to Singapore with my family for sure.”