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The Uruguayan believes it will be difficult to replace his Argentine team-mate, and that the team will need to work a little harder in his absence

Inter midfielder Alvaro Pereira has conceded it is a real blow to have lost Rodrigo Palacio to injury.

The Argentine forward pulled up during his side's 2-0 win over Sampdoria, and limped out of a training session on Thursday with a hamstring problem which has ruled him out of Sunday's game with Atalanta.

Pereira acknowledges it is a severe blow to the team, particularly given the long-term absence of striker Diego Milito, but insists they must focus on securing a result in his absence.

"It was bad news, but now we must think about Sunday's game and those who can do his job, although it won't be easy,” he told Mediaset.

“We need to focus and only think about beating Atalanta. [Antonio] Cassano and [Tommasso] Rocchi are now our only two recognised strikers and we need to consider the option of one our attacking players moving further forward. We all need to work hard to allow for this."

Team-mate Zdravko Kuzmanovic has also rued the loss of Palacio, but maintains the club’s target of finishing in the top three remains unchanged.

"We want to qualify for the Champions League, that hasn't changed,” he told the club’s official TV channel.

“I feel sorry for Rodrigo because he's scored a lot of goals and is important for the team. Now we need to find another solution, the coach will do that to the best of his ability and we'll move forward."

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