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The Nerazzurri boss was defiant in the face of adversity after telling reporters he will not step down from his role, and is confident his side will eventually banish their demons

Claudio Ranieri has asserted he will not resign as coach of Inter, speaking fresh from overseeing a 1-0 defeat to Serie A rivals Napoli on Sunday.

An Ezequiel Lavezzi goal in the second half consigned the Milanese giants to a fifth straight loss, which also puts their participation in next season's Champions League in jeopardy, but when quizzed on how president Massimo Moratti would react to the result, the 60-year-old was dismissive.

"I do not know - I cannot answer for the president," Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia after the match, "But I will not resign because I believe in these lads and this team."

However, despite their loss to the Partenopei, Ranieri was adamant Inter are close to regaining their winning touch, with February now coming to an end and the team giving him enough of a reason to stay positive.

"We lost, but at the same time we have the strength and the energy to start winning again," he continued.

"The team has suffered. We knew that Napoli would attack us, fresh from their momentous win in the Champions League. We also wanted to win, but we did not succeed.

"We are going through a rough patch, but February has now finished and we hope to get ourselves out of this dark period."

Inter remain seventh in the Serie A standings, but now fall nine points behind Udinese in the last Champions League spot.

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