Inter Milan coach Walter Mazzarri has refused to blame off-field changes for his side’s recent slump in form -- but former president Massimo Moratti has said he would like to see more of his successor, Erick Thohir.
Since Moratti sold his majority shareholding in the Serie A club to Indonesian media mogul Thohir, the Nerazzurri have won only one of eight league matches and have been eliminated from the Coppa Italia.
But Mazzarri does not see any connection between that and the off-field changes, although he has acknowledged that the situation could have provided a distraction for his players.
"I don't think this had any influence on our dip in form," he told Italia Uno television. "Having the president present, particularly in times of difficulty like this, is nice -- but it should not be a problem if that does not happen.
"I don't feel abandoned. I have support. Up to now, both Thohir and Moratti showed faith in my work, even in terms of the future.
"The fact that there was a change in the club during the course of the season shows that there have been difficulties, and maybe the change shook the team a little and distracted them from their football. Anybody in the game knows that situations like these are hard to manage.
"But we have to carry on working and turn things around with a win. I knew it would be hard coaching Inter, given the expectations. I've been in the firing line from the first day I started my coaching career."
Thohir is under pressure from Inter fans who want to see more leadership from him, and Moratti said he expected his successor to respond, telling Gazetta dello Sport: "I think it's necessary that he comes and I think he will do towards the end of the week.
"Like before the Milan game, it's a big help to the players and to everybody to have the person stood there who knows what to do and is the one assuming the responsibility. This gives you extra strength."
Inter host Catania on Sunday before travelling to face Juventus a week later. They are currently in fifth place, level on points with sixth-placed Hellas Verona and 11 points adrift of the top three.
On Monday, former AC Milan coach Fabio Capello said he was "not convinced" by Thohir.
"You think that, when a new president arrives at a big club, he could do something to strengthen the side," the ex-England coach told Italy's Fox Sports.
"Thohir's not doing this, and that's the truth. When you arrive at a club like Inter, you can't say things like 'it's best to sell before buying.'"