Padraig Whelan Date: 29th November 2018 at 12:10am
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Although Champions League qualification is no longer in Inter’s hands, coach Luciano Spalletti is treating it as though it is and believes if his side beat PSV, the rest will take care of itself.

A late Christian Eriksen strike means that Inter no longer have their fate in their own hands, although they are assisted somewhat by facing a team who are already eliminated, while Spurs travel to take on Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

However, it is Tottenham who know that if they match Inter’s result against PSV or can beat Barcelona, then it is they who will take their place in the last 16 alongside the Blaugrana.

“Obviously, we need to do what we must do on the field and if we do that, we’ll go through. It still very much depends on us. In practice that isn’t the case but I think if we do our job, we’ll go through,” the Inter boss told the assembled media afterwards.

“It is all about us and what we do. Barcelona have some top class players, some who are in Ballon d’Or contention. They haven’t lost at home in five years in the Champions League and will want to keep that going.

“What I’m saying here is that we must do what we need to do. We play PSV and must beat them. I’ll only ask about other game’s result after ours has finished. We have to worry about our own house and have to win our game and be confident of doing that.

“If we win it, it will give us a great chance of going through. I’m sorry but that’s how I feel about it.”

While he was positive about his side’s chances, he was less enthused about suggestions that his side could have been braver in trying to win at Wembley, something which he insisted both before and afterwards was the case, while also touching on the concerning statistic that his side have now trailed in all five of their Champions League games this season.

“I don’t know that we could have been more daring because we occupied the pitch, moved forward and created dangerous situations and we ended up chasing,” was his prickly response to that query.

“The team did what we had to do but as the game developed, we made a few mistakes with the ball at our feet and as a physical contest, they are very strong but nevertheless, if you want to talk about difficulties, I’m not sure we had too many.

“We struggled a little more in the first half than the second but that’s the result and even if we could have done a little more, it was just one moment when two players went for the same ball and the attack developed and we couldn’t stop it.

“I think it is by chance that we have trailed in the five games because our approach is always the same. Since I first arrived, people have said the same things about us suffering in various situations.

“But when we have the chance to go forward, we do that. We’ve always said the same thing in the dressing room and on the training field. I’m here to tell you the truth, I have nothing to hide and we wanted to win and did our best to do that but they also played well too.

“However we didn’t try to play for a draw. Far from it.”

Spalletti did acknowledge that when Inter are without possession, they can find things difficult but was overall pleased with how his side performed against a difficult opponent, especially as they cannot attack in the manner that Spurs do.

“We can’t build everything around our attackers [like them] and we must build through the team. Sometimes, when we don’t keep hold of it well it is tough for us to turn things around,” he concluded.

“We played our game for lengthy periods in the 90 minutes and got out of tight positions but there wasn’t too many differences between us on the pitch or in any moments.

“I thought it would be really tough for us to compete coming here. People talked about how they’d press us but I thought our guys played our game well and were professional today and played as such.”

Spalletti also confirmed Radja Nainggolan, who was substituted in the first half, suffered muscle fatigue as a result of his recent ankle injury and is unaware how long he will be out.