Inter coach salutes Cassano display

Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni praised Antonio Cassano after the new signing helped the club make a perfect start to the new Serie A season.

The former AC Milan man did everything but score on his debut as the Nerazzurri got up and running with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over newly-promoted Pescara.

Stramaccioni chose to start Cassano at the Stadio Adriatico and was duly rewarded as the Italy striker played a key role in goals from Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito and Phillippe Coutinho.

Cassano made the move across the San Siro on Tuesday and, for the Inter boss, the decision to start the Bari-born player was a simple one.

He told the club’s official website: "I made my mind up after the first training session.

"I wanted to play with two strikers and an attacking midfielder. He repaid my faith with his performance."

Stramaccioni is the man charged with reviving Inter’s fortunes following last season’s disappointing sixth-placed finish.

"We’re happy. It’s only the first step but we’re happy," he added.

"Let’s say it’s a good start, but we know there are things we still need to work on.

"A great team that takes a 2-0 lead into the dressing room at half-time at a difficult ground is a strong one.

"Our quality comes through when we move the ball around.

"It was a good start but there’s a long way to go. We have to keep our feet on the ground."

Cassano himself added: "The important thing was getting the three points. The performance was good and the team played well.

"And it’s easy to play alongside Milito and Sneijder – two players of a very high standard."

Despite Inter’s less than accommodating welcome to his Delfini side, coach Giovanni Stroppa remained philosophical this morning.

He told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "I dreamed the same dream last night that I have dreamed since I was a child – I was playing in Serie A with Pescara.

"I’m a little disappointed about how the game went. We pushed hard in the first half but the two goals took the wind out of our sails."