Mazzarri: Inter will be competitive once again

The manager says his team has deserved to win most of its games this season and is confident Inter will be back among the elite of Italian soccer in the near future.

Walter Mazzarri has lamented an "unusual year" at Inter and believes his side is worthy of a higher standing than its current position.

Mazzarri took the reins at Inter in May, charged with improving the club's on-field fortunes after a disappointing ninth-place finish under Andrea Stramaccioni last season. After a promising start to the campaign, Inter soon lost touch with the leaders and now faces a battle to secure qualification for the Europa League.

A four-match winless run — including three straight draws against teams in the bottom half of the table — has left Inter hanging onto the fifth spot in Serie A.

However, Mazzarri feels his side has deserved more and remains confident Inter will eventually be back among Serie A's leading teams.

"It's [been] an unusual year," he said ahead of Sunday's trip to Sampdoria. "There haven't been many games that we didn't deserve to win. I've never seen the team really struggling. In fact, we've often picked up less than we deserved.

"We've often determined the course of games with the approach we've taken, that can be seen as a positive. I know we'll get back to being a competitive side with working methods that are different to the past. We've let teams peg us back after going ahead. That's the area where we need to make the biggest improvement."