By 90Min
February 22, 2019

Luciano Spalletti has insisted that Mauro Icardi's recent absence has not contributed to Inter's run of positive results - their most recent being a 4-0 win over Rapid Wien in the Europa League.

Inter were comfortable winners on the night, with two goals in either half sealing a 5-0 aggregate win. Matias Vecino, Andrea Ranocchia, Ivan Perisic and Matteo Politano got the goals as the Nerazzurri swept away their Austrian opposition with ease.

Tullio Puglia/GettyImages

Icardi was in the stands once again as his teammates romped to victory, but Spalletti was keen to play down the importance of his recent absence.

"It is correct to say that Inter are improving and making fewer errors than before, but it is not fair to allude to something else that happened during this period," the Inter boss told Sky Sport Italia (via Goal).

"Let's view it from the right angle here, which is that the team is working hard and making fewer mistakes.

"Let's not talk all the time about this [Icardi]. Let's focus on the players who were out there today, playing, running, getting kicked and not lose sight of the reality of the situation.

"We are trying to reach this level as our normality, without the ups and downs. We need to get that sorted as soon as possible, because again last season we did well only for spells."

Samir Handanovic has taken over the captain's armband for the time being, but Spalletti was quick to point out that any of his senior players would be fit to lead the team.

“The armband is not a title of nobility or a trophy," he said.

“It is a great responsibility and at Inter an honour. We don't need just one person wearing the armband, because we need five or six leaders who push the squad forward. It doesn't matter who wears the armband.”

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