Moratti hails Mourinho impact

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The Independent Online

Internazionale president Massimo Moratti has hailed the growing influence of coach Jose Mourinho on the in-form Serie A leaders.

Mourinho masterminded a 1-0 victory over title rivals Juventus at the San Siro on Saturday evening which moved the Nerazzurri three points clear in the race for the Scudetto.

"It was a great first half," claimed Moratti. "I am very happy for Mourinho, who is able to give a face to this team that is expressing itself more and more. This is very important."

Moratti also praised the coach for his shock decision to recall controversial striker Adriano to the starting line-up.

The Brazil striker had missed the last five games following reports of a fall-out with the bullish Portuguese coach.

"I was surprised," he continued. "However, Mourinho chooses the squad based on the indications he gets from training and how the players are doing psychologically.

"If Adriano can achieve these kind of results it is fantastic for us."

Matters are not so rosy at Juventus after the Turin club learned they will be without Tiago Mendes for around one month after the midfielder sprained his knee after just 90 seconds of the defeat.

Scans have confirmed no significant ligament damage, but Juve still expect the former Lyon, Chelsea and Benfica midfielder to be out of action until the end of December.

The defeat - only the Bianconeri's third of the season - has left them six points adrift of leaders Inter in the Serie A title race.

Meanwhile, Torino president Urbano Cairo has dismissed reports suggesting he has already lined up Roberto Donadoni as the replacement for under-pressure coach Gianni De Biasi.

Struggling Torino secured a creditable point from a 2-2 draw with AC Milan on Sunday, but after the match Cairo denied rumours that he has approached the former Italy coach about the possibility of taking over at the Stadio Grande Torino.

When asked about reports of contact with Donadoni, he said: "Absolutely not.

"I haven't seen Donadoni for the past year and a half."

Donadoni has been out of work since being axed by the Azzurri following their poor showing at Euro 2008.

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