Inter Milan's Stefano Pioli ignoring resignation calls after latest defeat
Inter Milan coach Stefano Pioli has refused to resign after his side fell to their fifth defeat in their last six games on Sunday.
A 1-0 Serie A loss at relegation-threatened Genoa was Inter's third defeat in a row, extending their run of games without a win to seven, and seeing them remain three points adrift of city rivals AC Milan, who are currently occupying the final qualifying berth for the Europa League next season.
There are three games of the season left for seventh-placed Inter to rein in their rivals and claim a place in Europe, but their recent form is causing concern and raising calls for Pioli -- who replaced Frank de Boer earlier this season -- to step aside.
"I've begun a job here and at the start it was going well, but currently it's not producing results," Pioli told Inter's official website. "I want to finish the job and support the team in any way I can to help them get out of this situation.
"We were a team when results were going well; we also need to be one during the bad times. I'm confident that this season, even if it's been poor, will help Inter understand how to build for the future."
Inter host Sassuolo next weekend before travelling to Lazio, who secured their place in the top five at the weekend, and then end the season at home to Udinese. Milan travel to Atalanta before hosting Bologna, while ending the season at Cagliari.
Milan's three-point advantage over Inter means they are favourites to make a return to Europe after a three-year absence, but Pioli is not giving in just yet.
"Is Europe one bridge too far? Right now the important thing is to end the season showing desire and pride," he said. "We must prove we have ability. We've done so in the past and we have to do it again.
"There are three matches still to play and we haven't won for a while. We would have liked to return to Milan [from Genoa] with three points. It's a delicate moment but we need to find a way to put things right. We're disappointed and we have to do more because there is quality in this squad."
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.