The youngest coach in Serie A has been buoyed by the performances of all three players since he succeeded Claudio Ranieri in the Nerazzurri hotseat at the end of MarchInter boss Andrea Stramaccioni believes that Lucio, Maicon and Wesley Sneijder have proven in recent weeks that they are far from finished.
It was suggested earlier in the season that age was catching up with Brazilian defensive duo Lucio and Maicon, and that injuries were taking their toll on Dutch playmaker Sneijder, whose attitude was also called into question.
However, Stramaccioni has been buoyed by the trio's performances of late, believing them to have played an integral role in the Nerazzurri's surprise push for a Champions League place.
"The performances of Lucio, Maicon and Sneijder prove they aren't finished," he enthused during a press conference on Tuesday.
Stramaccioni also heaped praise on striking duo Diego Milito and Giampaolo Pazzini but the 36-year-old coach argued that the pair are incompatible.
"They are two great centre forwards with different qualities," he insisted. "But, personally, I don't think they complement each other."
Inter remains undefeated since Stramaccioni replaced Claudio Ranieri at the helm in late March and its good form has left them in a four-way tie for third place.
The momentum seems to be with the Nerazzurri but their Roman boss feels that with games to come against Parma, on Wednesday, city rivals AC Milan and fellow Champions League chasers Lazio, they still have it all to do.
"We have the toughest run-in," he declared. "We've never promised we would finish third, only that we'll give everything we can to get there. But after Juventus, Parma are the most in-form side in the league. They will be extremely tough.
"Inter have clearly improved, though, in terms of our performances, our football and our stability."
Inter's must-win clash with the Gialloblu at the Ennio Tardini kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET.
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