Even Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini has given up hope of a third-place finish following Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to Cesena.
After the draw Inter find themselves eighth in the standings and nine points behind third-place Lazio, who play at Torino on Monday.
“A victory would have seen us climb to 39 points with 11 rounds to go,” Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “But now it’s going to be very difficult to reach third place.
“A win would have given us hope but there are too many teams in front of us now. At the moment there’s no point talking about third place and it’s not even logical to do so. Perhaps it is my fault. I am an optimist by nature and thought we could have achieved something more in less time.”
It has been a frustrating return to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for Mancini, who has led Inter to just five league wins since returning to the club in November to replace Walter Mazzarri. “We all want to do better, but unfortunately this team is improving slowly and alternating good per
formances with negative ones,” Mancini said.
Since beating Celtic 1-0 in the Europa League matchup last month, Inter have lost two and drawn two of their subsequent four matches in all competitions.
“We can only keep working and it might take more time to improve,” Mancini said.”It’s bad for our fans, as they suffer, but we are suffering too.
“I am always optimistic and see my players working as hard as possible, so this is a very disappointing draw. It wasn’t a good performance from us, Cesena did very well and deserved to get a point out of it.”
What is most frustrating to Nerazzurri fans is that third place was there to be taken. Roma has won only one of their last six games, while Napili has lost two of our their last three league matches. If Inter had been able to put together any sort of winning streak they would have have been right in the race for a Champions League place.