Internazionale coach José Mourinho said Sunday’s derby defeat by Milan had already been forgotten as he prepared his side to take on Werder Bremen in tonight’s Group B game.
Mourinho was reluctant to speak about the match, preferring to concentrate on a European campaign that has begun well.
“I only ever look forward,” he announced. “And this is the Champions League. We are top of our group and we are better placed than anyone else to kick on from here. None of the 32 teams has had a better start than us.”
“We know Bremen have scored ten goals in two matches but they didn’t score any against Anorthosis – so which is the real Bremen?” asked Mourinho.
“I don’t think it’s the 0-0 version but neither is it the side that scores five. They score a lot because they have good attacking players and also because they play in a league where spectacular football is important and no one is pilloried for conceding. We must be careful, but we know their need to win is greater than ours. Nine points from our first three matches would be great but if we get seven we’ll be virtually through.”
Mourinho’s confidence has been boosted by the return from injury of Ivan Cordoba, Cristian Chivu and Patrick Vieira. Only Maxwell, Luís Figo and Luis Antonio Jimenez remain sidelined.
Apart from Daniel Jensen’s achilles problem, Bremen are injury-free and their recent free-scoring displays have given coach Thomas Schaaf plenty of confidence.
“We must be true to ourselves,” he said. “We must exploit our own strengths. Inter’s attack is so strong that letting them come at us could be fatal. So maybe the best place to be is in their half where we can do some damage and watch out for the counterattack.
“[Zlatan] Ibrahimović represents an obvious threat to us,” added Schaaf. “We’ve known about him for years, when he was at Ajax and even before then when he played in Sweden. He is an exceptionally talented player we will have to keep an eye on, but we can’t focus on him alone – there are plenty of other good Inter players to worry about.”