Europa League: Andrea Stramaccioni proud of Inter Milan despite defeat

Andrea Stramaccioni: Believes his Inter side made a 'big step forward'

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Inter Milan head coach Andrea Stramaccioni hailed his side's monumental effort as they very nearly pulled off a shock triumph against Tottenham in the UEFA Europa League.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, the Italian outfit thrashed Tottenham 4-1 at the San Siro, but ended up exiting the competition on the away-goals rule, with Emmanuel Adebayor's extra-time strike proving decisive.

The 37-year-old has now called on his players to show the same kind of spirit for the remainder of the season as they look to qualify for next season's Champions League.

He told Sky Italia: "This is a fundamental sign we send today and the only positive I can see from this evening is that we won't have midweek games to worry about. It was our best performance of the season.

"The team shook off its fear and always held the initiative. It's a shame about the result, as we conceded after so many scoring opportunities.

"Playing 120 minutes at an incredible level of intensity is tough, but I saw a team that made a big step forward today.

"Now we have a mini-tournament to play in the final ten Serie A games. We've got Sampdoria on Sunday, then Juventus after that.

"The important thing is that today Inter gave their response, showed that we are united and that we won't be broken by the criticism."