Inter take on Mourinho's self-assured style

September 22, 2008

MILAN, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Italian champions Inter Milan are quickly matching new coach Jose Mourinho's confident style with promoted Lecce next in line for a soccer lesson on Wednesday.

Impressive back-to-back wins at Panathinaikos in the Champions League and at Torino in Serie A on Sunday had the purists purring, especially with striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic at his skilful best.

Mourinho, known for his confident character while winning two English titles with Chelsea, had been relatively quiet since his arrival at Inter in June as he sussed out what he could and could not say in the Italian media.

Now the Portuguese has settled, he has begun to express his famed ego and his table-topping side are following suit.

His Chelsea team were often criticised for being slightly boring despite their coach's cockiness, but at Inter he has found a group of players who want to entertain.

"Yes, I believe I have found the best coach in the world," Inter president Massimo Moratti told Sky. "It is not only the way he expresses himself. He adapts well to various situations and has strong personality."

Inter were effective but not always pretty when winning the title under hard task master Roberto Mancini last term, but this season promises something different.

Adriano, sent on loan to Sao Paolo by Mancini last term after struggling for fitness, has been re-energised by Mourinho.

"Mancini asked the same things from me but he did it in a different way. That was the problem," the Brazil forward said.

Adriano could start as the main frontman at home to Lecce with Ibrahimovic possibly rested given his nagging knee trouble.

Inter meet AC Milan in the city derby next Sunday and their stuttering rivals are also finding their feet after two opening league defeats.

Sunday's 4-1 win over Lazio was characterised by the quick pace of the play, something Milan have lacked for a long time.

Carlo Ancelotti's men head into Wednesday's game at Reggina with a new confidence but are aware the work is just beginning.

"There have been clear improvements even if we mustn't think that all the problems have been resolved," the coach said.

Juventus have a host of injuries for the visit of Catania with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon the newest casualty with a thigh problem.

In other standout matches on Wednesday, AS Roma travel to Genoa and Lazio host Fiorentina.