Brazilian striker Adriano has again been omitted from Inter’s squad after angering coach Jose Mourinho.
Adriano will miss Saturday’s visit to bottom side Reggina after being dropped for Wednesday’s goalless draw with Fiorentina amid media reports that he had been sent home for turning up late for training.
“If anyone has devoted themselves to him, not just as a coach but also with the heart of a work mate, I am that person,” the former Chelsea and Porto boss told a news conference.
“But we must not forget that there’s a group in which there are rules. Naturally Adriano would have been important for tomorrow’s match, but there are principles that come first.”
The Brazilian had already upset Mourinho with his tactical indiscipline in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Genoa while media reports said he then went to a nightclub until the early hours of the morning.
“My philosophy is that the players must know how to adapt to the coach’s way of thinking,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t know if Adriano will understand being on the outside (of the team). The road back is long, but not impossible.”
Champions Inter, lie fourth in Serie A with 18 points from nine games, but Mourinho said it is too early to compare his work with his predecessor Roberto Mancini, who was sacked in May after leading Inter to a third consecutive league title.
“If we want to comparisons, let’s make them (at the end of season) in May,” he said.