Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez insists there is no cause for alarm following his his team's 3-0 UEFA Champions League defeat at Werder Bremen last night. The encounter was the Nerazzurri's last game before they travel to the United Arab Emirates to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup later this month.
Inter had already qualified for the knockout round of the Champions League, advancing as the second-placed team in Group A behind Tottenham. Club president Massimo Moratti had nevertheless stressed the need to not show a "poor image" in a European game, but Benitez said: "Our aim is clear - it's the Club World Cup.
"We saw that was the case against Werder. We played the game having already qualified for the next round. The match that was truly important was the one that we won at home to Twente [two weeks ago].
"I played the youngsters at Werder and I believe that was the positive aspect of the game as we didn't want to risk losing a player to injury."
The result was Inter's second straight loss after Friday's 3-0 defeat at Lazio that dropped the champions to fifth spot in Serie A. Benitez is hoping the team can start stringing together some wins.
"Inter's mentality will change," he said. "The players that are injured will return to play and it will be different."
Asked if he feels pressure heading into the Club World Cup, the former Liverpool manager said: "I don't believe my future depends on that (Club World Cup). I hope the team does well as a team, then the individual quality may help but what is important is the team."
"I spoke to the president (Massimo) Moratti before the game and we agreed to do everything possible to win in Bremen but without taking any risks in view of the Club World Cup, so I'm calm," he said.
"We haven't yet seen the true Inter with the players who made a difference last season."
That was a feeling shared by Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta, who played 74 minutes on his first start since injury.
"I don't think we've yet shown that we're the same team as last year but the opportunity we have to play in this tournament and the players we have coming back from injury will help our morale, our confidence and our play," he said.