Leonardo has players backing

BY foxsports • April 8, 2011

Inter Milan coach Leonardo has received the backing of his players after two successive defeats, including an embarrassing home loss to Schalke 04 in midweek.

A 3-0 defeat in the Milan derby last weekend followed a 5-2 humiliation at the hands of Schalke in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Their recent setbacks have put pressure on Brazilian coach Leonardo, who joined Inter in January after the sacking of Rafael Benitez.

"The team, the club and the fans are behind Leonardo," said Inter midfielder Esteban Cambiasso.

"We cannot forget that we are the only Italian club that is alive in all three competitions.

"We have lost two important games but we have time to make amends."

Inter captain Javier Zanetti added: "Leonardo has confidence in us just as we have confidence in him.

"This team has been winning for the past six years and two defeats do not cancel out the great work we have done.

"We are aware it's going to be very difficult to defend our Champions League title but in football anything is possible.

"We've made mistakes but we are looking ahead to the game against Chievo before focusing on our return leg at Schalke."

In losing to Serie A leaders AC Milan, the Nerazzurri dropped to third in the standings, five points behind the Rossoneri with seven games remaining.

Chievo, meanwhile, will look to pile further misery on Leonardo when they travel to the San Siro.

The Flying Donkeys climbed to 13th in the standings after last weekend's goalless draw to Sampdoria.

"We will go to San Siro ready to play our game without any fear," said Chievo coach Stefano Pioli.

"We still need four or five points to defend our Serie A status.

"We have the duty to try to take as many points as possible in our remaining games, even in the home of a great team like Inter."

Inter will be without defender Cristian Chivu, who serves a one-match ban.

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