Pioli not worried by Simeone talk

The recently appointed Inter boss is already fending off questions about his job security after only one game in charge at the San Siro

Stefano Pioli insists he is not thinking about speculation suggesting Diego Simeone will replace him as Inter head coach.

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The former Lazio boss saw his first match in charge of Inter end in a dramatic 2-2 draw against rivals AC Milan at San Siro on Sunday thanks to Ivan Perisic’s last-gasp equaliser.

Pioli will lead Inter in the Europa League away to Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Thursday, but has already had to deal with reports in Italy claiming Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone will replace him either at the end of this season or in 2018.

However, Pioli insists his only focus is on rebuilding Inter rather than worrying about whether the Simeone speculation is true.

“I don’t think about these things,” he said at his pre-match media conference.

“Pressure is normal, as we are Inter and therefore have to play our cards. 
“I just want to work and make the most of this great opportunity to bring Inter back where the club deserves to be.

“We showed character and determination in the derby. Now we will be ready for this game and give our all to win.”

Inter are bottom of Europa League Group K with only three points from four games, six behind leaders Sparta Prague and four behind second-placed Southampton, who meet in the other match on Thursday.

One of the low points of Pioli’s predecessor Frank de Boer’s brief reign was a 2-0 home loss to Hapoel in September.

“I’m not thinking about the other match in our group, just Hapoel v Inter,” added Pioli. “We have to make sure we win this one.

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“I have had a good look at Be’er Sheva and reviewed the first game carefully. They are very good technically and physical too.

“We have a mountain to climb [in the group], but we will give it our best shot. We have got what it takes to do well.”