Captain Icardi key to Inter improvement, says Spalletti

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The Serie A side have only won two across all competitions this season but their manager believes their skipper can help turn around their fortunes

Inter boss Luciano Spalletti believes Mauro Icardi still has more to give following his late heroics in the midweek Champions League win over Tottenham.

Icardi equalised with a sweet 85th-minute volley before Matias Vecino completed the hosts' quickfire turnaround to secure a much-needed 2-1 victory at San Siro.

Inter's skipper had been largely anonymous until his equaliser and finished the match with just 16 touches, the fewest of any starter.

Spalletti urged Icardi to continue raising his game to new heights ahead of an important Serie A trip to Sampdoria on Saturday.

"[It takes] a bit of everything," he said.

"He must make movements that will benefit the team, just as they must consider what his qualities are, putting him in a position to express himself better.

"A few seconds of talent are enough to be a top footballer, but to be a champion it takes 95 minutes of personality."

Inter's success against Spurs came despite an unconvincing start in the league which has yielded just four points from as many matches.

A 3-0 victory over Bologna is their only domestic scalp of the season so far, with losses to Sassuolo and Parma both ringing alarm bells at the club.

Spalletti hopes the confidence gained from the Champions League will lead to a consistent run of results.

"If we're able to win these games, we come out of them stronger because it means that we're capable but we have to keep doing it," he said.

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"We also benefitted from the enthusiasm after such a win. It could be that we follow up on the win tomorrow and to do so would mean much more than winning two individual matches.

"I hope that the guys become aware of their abilities."

Inter next travel to Sampdoria on September 22 before they then host back-to-back league games versus Fiorentina on September 25 and Cagliari on September 29.

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