Inter can still challenge for Serie A title – Joao Mario

The Portugal international believes his side can still put up a fight for their first Scudetto since 2010, despite already sitting seven points off the pace

Joao Mario believes Inter can still challenge for the Serie A title despite a shaky start to Frank de Boer’s reign.

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Inter beat defending Serie A champions Juventus 2-1 last month but have since drawn with Bologna and lost to Roma, though they did claim a 2-0 victory at Empoli beforehand.

De Boer’s men are seven points adrift of leaders Juve in ninth, but Joao Mario – who joined from Sporting CP in August – has hope they can contend for a first Scudetto since 2010.

“I think it’s normal for a team like Inter that is under construction to go through some difficult periods, as we are now,” the midfielder told La Gazzetta dello Sport.  

“We often go behind in games and this should not happen, especially as it’s difficult to reach the Champions League and aim to win something if we always have to fight back.

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“Having said that, I certainly don’t think Inter are out of the Scudetto race. It’s true Juventus are very strong, have won the last five titles and had a good start.

“Our principle objective is to qualify for the Champions League, as it’s obvious a side like Inter has to be in the most prestigious tournament.

“Then, if we are able to consolidate that position, we will still be close enough to gamble for the Scudetto. We’ll ensure we are ready for that final sprint.”