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By ESPN Staff
Feb 11, 2013

Stramaccioni: Inter not 'dead and buried'

Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni believes his side proved they are still strong contenders in Serie A with a convincing display in Sunday's 3-1 win over Chievo.

• Sunday review: Milan salvage draw
• Blog: Unbeaten run extended

Goals to Antonio Cassano, Andrea Ranocchia and Diego Milito snapped Inter's three-match winless streak and moved the Nerazzurri into fourth place.

Things were looking grim at Inter prior to the Chievo win, with just one win in seven league outings and Stramaccioni was quick to urge fans and critics that none of their flair has been lost.

"I think tonight showed that we're not dead and buried, we let out the frustration that has been building recently, and we channelled that on the pitch," Stramaccioni told Inter's official website. "You saw Inter tonight. We're a squad, we're a team, we played like Inter.

"It's hardly surprising that Milito, Cassano and [Rodrigo] Palacio up front give us incredible quality. They worked very hard, that's what I'd asked of them and they did so. They each need to put in a shift because the group is the most important thing. I've got great respect for our supporters who are demanding and ambitious. We are too."

Stramaccioni also received a boost with the return of Dejan Stankovic, who had spent nine months on the sidelines with an Achilles tendon injury.

The Serbian midfielder admitted he considered retiring from football but was pleased to be back playing football again.

"It's a hell to be outside the field for nine months and those who play know it," Stankovic said. "I've given up a lot, I went through two surgeries and I re-injured myself twice.

"There was a time that I wanted to give up everything but thanks to the support from my family, the president and the supporters I understood I couldn't give up and that I had to come back.

"I didn't think about my physical status at all today [Sunday], I was too emotional. I played 45 minutes with the primavera (reserve side) earlier and tonight I played 45 minutes, but the tempo wasn't the highest. I want to help the team from now to the end.

"I've practiced with the team for four weeks and I've seen players who are fit and who know about the situation. We need everyone, not just me but the new players will prove their worth."

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