Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi insisted his team are “on the right track” in their preparations for the new season, despite suffering a surprise 1-0 friendly defeat to Lens.
Saturday’s friendly in France was a cagey affair, ultimately decided by a 91st-minute winner for the hosts when Lois Openda flicked on a corner at the near post, which looped into the far corner of the net.
Lens, who finished seventh in Ligue 1 last season, provided a stern test for their Serie A opponents, who fielded several of their new faces – including Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan as second-half substitutes.
They were unable to make a difference though, with Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba – recently signed from Premier League side Nottingham Forest – making several important saves.
Inzaghi felt it was a good exercise for Inter, who will be striving to regain the Serie A title next season after being dethroned by city rivals Milan.
— Inter (@Inter) July 23, 2022
“We faced a team ahead of us [in preparation]. We knew it would be tough, but it was a good test,” Inzaghi told reporters.
“We could have done better in the first half, despite the physical difference. In the second half we did well, but we had to make the most of the opportunities. We missed two good chances. It was a shame we conceded the goal, we don’t like even losing friendlies.”
The Nerazzurri have had a mixed pre-season so far, beating Swiss side FC Lugano 4-1, before a 2-2 draw with Monaco prior to defeat in Lens.
“We need to improve our condition, we already knew that when we planned these friendlies,” Inzaghi added. “Sorry, we are on the right track. We still have three weeks of work before the season begins.
“We have raised the time limit of each player, now in the next few weeks we will try to improve everyone’s physical condition.”
Inter face Lyon and Villarreal in further friendlies before getting their Serie A campaign under way at Lecce on August 13.