Inter Milan stars Javier Zanetti and Samuel Eto'o have moved to assure fans that the Nerazzurri's underperforming players are ready to turn a corner and perform like the side who brushed aside all before them last season.
• Benitez calls for united front
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Rafa Benitez's struggling side lost 2-1 to Chievo on Sunday, the fourth Serie A match in a row that they have failed to win.
The run represents their worst start to a league season in six years and has piled the pressure on under-fire Benitez just five months into his tenure at the San Siro.
But Inter captain Zanetti is confident that the same group of players who claimed a treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League triumphs under Jose Mourinho last season, are ready to raise their game.
"Our squad is very strong and we have character, so we will emerge from this difficult time with our heads held high," Zanetti told Inter Channel. "Unfortunately the injuries mean we never get to play the same line-up twice, but we are not looking for alibis.
"We certainly weren't lacking hunger in Verona and Sergio Pellissier scored the opener against the run of play. Sadly Eto'o's goal came too late to make a difference, but we deserved better from this match."
Eto'o was the subject of intense scrutiny after the match after being caught on camera catching Bostjan Cesar with a Zinedine Zidane-style headbutt to the chest, an incident for which he received only a booking during the game.
The Cameroon striker refused to comment on the clash after the game, though, like Zanetti, he insisted that Inter fans will see a marked improvement in the players' performances.
"I promise we will rise again," Eto'o said. "Now we have to win an important Champions League game on Wednesday against Twente. If we get that result, then we'll be sure of passage to the next round, so we can relax a bit.
"Rafa Benitez? In Italy everything changes in the space of a week. You can go from being treated like phenomenons to people looking down on you."