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Spalletti hails Inter Milan’s fighting spirit 

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Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti was pleased with his side’s response to their recent struggles after picking up their first Serie A win of 2019.

On the back of two draws and a defeat in their past three league outings, Inter grabbed a badly needed victory at Parma on Saturday.

Substitute Lautaro Martinez was the hero after scoring Inter’s first Serie A goal of 2019 in the 79th-minute of the game.

The Argentine forward had only come on for Joao Mario two minutes earlier before he fired in Radja Nainggolan’s through ball into the roof of the net for the match-winner.

“We have the potential to overcome our difficulties, although in some moments it seems that we’re weighed down by not winning and we drop below our usual standard,” Spalletti told the club website.

“We simply have to show what we can do out on the pitch. We were well-organised tonight and it wasn’t easy because you can’t lose possession against Parma and find yourself out of position. [Roberto] Inglese always works the ball well and Gervinho is devastating when in space.

“Lautaro has a fighting spirit and he does really well when the ball comes to him. Both him and [Mauro] Icardi are our two main strikers.

“They are very similar and you need to find the right moment to play them. That can be when the opposition looks to press and we have the right peace of mind to support them.”

Spalletti added: “[Ivan] Perisic put in a great performance. He reacted like a great player in response to the noise surrounding him. Nainggolan also demonstrated that he’s on the right path. He showed some quick bursts, and this is something we haven’t seen for a little while.

“This forced Parma to keep on playing long balls, with [Stefan] De Vrij and [Milan] Skriniar, who are like two lions, being able to deal with every situation perfectly. However, we got it wrong up front too many times and threatened them less than we could have done.”

“Through my family and my career, I’m well suited to overcoming difficulties,” he concluded.

“Just as the defeat against Bologna caused despair, this victory will give us enthusiasm and strength.

“We must now keep a low profile to rediscover stability. We showed positive things tonight, but we need to produce further performances like this to gain consistency.”

The Nerazzurri remain third in Serie A table with 43 points from 23 games and on course to qualify for Champions League again next season.