Pioli offers Inter hope to Banega

The Argentine is a “great player” despite not being part of the recently appointed manager’s plans for the Milan derby, the Italian has stressed

Inter boss Stefano Pioli insists he is a fan of midfielder Ever Banega, despite dropping him for the Milan derby.

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The Nerazzurri drew 2-2 against city rivals AC Milan in Pioli’s first match in charge on Sunday, with the omission of the former Sevilla star one of three changes to his first starting XI from the club’s previous outing.

Banega remained on the substitutes’ bench throughout the match, but the former Lazio boss handed him a boost ahead of Thursday’s Europa League match away to Hapoel Be’er Sheva by praising his ability.

“We are talking about a great player,” Pioli told reporters at his pre-match media conference about Banega, who has made 13 appearances across all competitions this season.

“I like dynamic midfielders and Banega moves very well between the lines.

“I have not dropped anyone – I choose on a game-by-game basis who I consider most suited to that encounter.
“I cannot say if he will play [against Hapoel] or not, but I like a dynamic midfield.”

Winger Antonio Candreva, meanwhile, called on Inter to improve their performances with them sitting bottom of Europa League Group K after four games having lost at home to Hapoel earlier in the campaign.

“We know Be’er Sheva are a well-drilled side but we are Inter – we want to take the game to them and win,” Candreva said.

“The boss wants us to be mobile so that our opponents have no reference points. We all have to give 100 per cent. We have to do better. 

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“We are playing for a great club and we must honour this shirt at all times.”

Due to Inter’s poor start in the competition, even two straight wins to finish the group campaign will not guarantee them a place in the last 32.