Football: De Boer cracks whip at Inter, slams Brozovic for untimely Instagram post

MILAN (AFP) - Inter Milan coach Frank de Boer has warned his players over the use of social media and their lack of professionalism in two shock defeats that have dented their European prospects.

Inter, who sit third in Serie A, four points behind champions and leaders Juventus, travel to Roma on Sunday looking to get back to winning ways, after a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Bologna last week and another poor showing in Europe.

While de Boer slammed Inter's lack of focus on the pitch, Marcelo Brozovic has been slammed for his conduct off it.

As Inter were losing 1-3 to Sparta Prague in the Czech capital in the Europa League on Thursday, Croatian midfielder Brozovic was posting pictures of himself and his girlfriend on the social media platform Instagram.

Already sidelined due to disciplinary problems, he has been left out of the squad to face Roma on Sunday.

"All my players need to realise that social media is important, but can also be dangerous," de Boer said.

"They need to know when not to use it, that goes for everyone.

"For example, a goalkeeper at Ajax posted a snapchat (photo) during half-time, and for me it's not right. Does that mean one of my players has to do it?"

Dutch coach de Boer, who replaced Roberto Mancini after the Italian left the club by mutual consent two weeks before the start of the season, has had a roller-coaster ride so far.

The ignominy of an opening league defeat by Chievo was followed by a home draw with Palermo, but their domestic form has since picked up, including a 2-1 home win against Juventus.

However, they face a fight to progress from their Europa League group after losing at home to Hapoel Beer-Sheva of Israel before being beaten by Sparta.

A furious de Boer said he now expects his players to start focusing on matches "at least one day before" kick-off.

"We have spoken amongst ourselves about these slow starts," he added. "I no longer want to see the kind of attitude that was on display against Sparta.

"We need to have the same focus in every single game. A match doesn't begin with the referee's whistle but at least one day before. We need to be fully focused before the game itself."