May 7, 2017 / 7:35 PM / in 2 months

Dejected Inter coach Pioli says he will not quit

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Inter Milan's coach Stefano Pioli during the match against Napoli.Stefano Rellandini

MILAN (Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Stefano Pioli, in charge for only six months, said he had no intention of quitting on Sunday after a 1-0 defeat at Genoa left them without a win in their last seven league outings.

Inter are now one match short of equalling their record winless run of eight matches in the top flight, set back in the 1947/8 season.

"I want to finish the job and support the team in any way I can to help them get out of this situation," said Pioli, whose predecessor Frank de Boer was fired after less than three months in charge.

"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."

Pioli, Inter's ninth coach in the last six years, also defended his decision to substitute captain Mauro Icardi, their leading scorer with 24 goals, midway through the second half.

"I wanted to change something and introduce fresher players in attack," he said. "It wasn't Mauro's best day and I wasn't happy with our offensive play. I tried to throw on two fresh players to create problems for the opponents."

Inter, whose target at the start of the season was to qualify for the Champions League, are seventh in the table, which is not enough to get them even into the Europa League.

But Pioli said he just wanted an honourable end to the season in their final three games.

"Right now the important thing is to end the season showing desire and pride. We must prove we have ability," he said. "We’ve done so in the past and we have to do it again.

"We have to do more because there is quality in this squad."

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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