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Ranieri: Inter reeling but determined to bounce back against Bologna

The Nerazzurri propelled themselves back into title contention with a run of seven consecutive victories but they now face a real battle just to claim third place

Inter coach Claudio Ranieri has admitted that his players are reeling after a run of four Serie A games without a victory but he is hopeful that they will return to winning ways against Bologna on Friday.

After dragging themselves back into title contention with a run of seven consecutive victories, the Nerazzurri now find themselves locked in a real battle for third place - and the Champions League berth which comes with it - after picking up just one point from their recent meetings with Lecce, Palermo, Roma and Novara.

As a result, Ranieri is desperate for three points against Bologna - although he is well aware that they cannot be taken for granted.

"The matches we have just left behind us were by no means inspiring because we took some blows that left us reeling,” the Roman told reporters during his pre-match press conference. “Now we have to turn things around.

"Since the beginning of January, Bologna have not lost an away game, but we need points.

“We must be careful not to give away any goals and we must be sharp when attacking, in spite of our absences, which is not an excuse.

“Football is not always an exact science: against Novara [last Sunday] we worked hard and with one counterattack they were able to hurt us.

“We'll have to be more careful tomorrow, because Bologna will try to attack on the break as well."

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar is a doubt for the game at San Siro with a minor injury but Ranieri revealed that the Brazilian is willing to play through the pain.

"He wants to play,” the former Roma boss stated. “He doesn't want to sit on the bench given the situation the team finds itself in at the moment and this is laudable.”

Unfortunately for Inter, Walter Samuel, Ricky Alvarez, Dejan Stankovic and Diego Milito will all miss the visit of the Rossoblu through injury.

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