International Champions Cup Singapore

Football: Eder targets Champions League

Eder scored both goals in Inter's 2-0 win over Bayern Munich on Thursday.
Eder scored both goals in Inter's 2-0 win over Bayern Munich on Thursday.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Inter Milan are showing signs of recovery with new coach Spalletti's pressing tactics

Two pre-season games, three goals scored and none conceded. As far as first impressions go, Luciano Spalletti has made an ideal start as the new coach of Inter Milan.

And according to the Italian Serie A club's striker Eder, the fallen giants are showing signs of recovery - thanks to the new coach's high-energy pressing tactics.

The Nerazzurri defeated French Ligue One side Lyon 1-0 in an Audi Football Summit game in Nanjing on Monday, and followed that up with a convincing 2-0 International Champions Cup (ICC) victory over German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Thursday.

They will wrap up their ICC campaign against English Premier League champions Chelsea tonight at the National Stadium.

"I think Spalletti is doing a great job enhancing our defence as well as pressing our opponents without waiting for them to attack us," Eder, who scored both goals in the win over Bayern, told The Straits Times at the Mandarin Oriental hotel yesterday afternoon.

"The winning teams are those that avoid conceding goals.

"Spalletti is training our strikers to be the first defenders.

HIGH-ENERGY PRESSING TACTICS

Spalletti is training our strikers to be the first defenders. For sure, our strikers have the ability to score goals but the most important thing is now they are working for our defence.

EDER , on the change the new coach Luciano Spalletti has bought to Inter.

"For sure, our strikers have the ability to score goals but the most important thing is now they are working for our defence.

"It is always nice to score and lead your team to victory but the most important matches are still to come in Serie A.

"We are working hard to get there in the best shape."

Apart from the wins and clean sheets, Inter's performances has raised hopes that the Nerazzurri, who finished seventh in Serie A last season, will challenge in the upper reaches of the table this campaign.

For Eder, the target is clear and that is a top-three finish for a Champions League place.

The 30-year-old Italian international forward said: "We are working hard with the new coach.

"For us, The Champions League is the important objective and we are going to do our best to get back there."

And Eder believes that, having toured Singapore and China in the past week, the Asian fans had given Inter the tonic they need to challenge the likes of Juventus, Roma and AC Milan.

He said: "The support we receive from Inter fans gives us strength. The warmth of the fans in China, Singapore and all over the world touched us.

"We have received messages all over the world and that is important to us players. It gives us stamina to play on the field."


CHELSEA v INTER Mediacorp okto, 7.20pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2017, with the headline 'Eder targets champions league'. Print Edition | Subscribe