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Hunger is back at Barca

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Stramaccioni defends youngsters

Andrea Stramaccioni has defended his decision to field a youthful side in Inter Milan's 3-0 Europa League loss to Rubin Kazan on Thursday.

• Blog: Young Inter frozen out

Stramaccioni revealed before the match that he would make a number of changes to his side, given that Inter had already qualified through to the knockout stages.

Inter's youngsters were outplayed for much of the match and the defeat means they can no longer finish top of Group H.

But the Italian boss believes his makeshift side still did enough to impress and show positive signs for the future.

"Right now it does irritate me to have lost this way," Stramaccioni said. "We took the initiative for 70 minutes in a difficult arena against a team that was at full-strength.

"We conceded the goals at the very start and at the very end. We fielded a very young team and gave a debut to our ninth Primavera youth team player this season, proving our academy is prolific and sending a good sign for all of Italian football.

"I therfore compliment [Andrea] Romano, [Marco] Benassi and [Isaac] Donkor. We are happy to have given so many youngsters their debut in Europe."

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