ROME // Gian Piero Gasperini's position as Inter Milan coach became increasingly untenable last night as the Serie A giants' winless run continued with a shock 3-1 defeat at newly promoted Novara.
Inter have not won away in five games this season putting increasing pressure on Gasperini as the humiliation against Novara, returning to Serie A after 55 years, follows last week's home defeat to Turkish side Trabzonspor in the Champions League.
Inter are languishing in 17th position with just one point from three games.
Gasperini's position looks even weaker after Ansa reported that the Inter president Massimo Moratti gave a less than supportive reply to a question by journalists after the match as to whether the coach had control over the team.
"It doesn't seem that way to me, no, but lets see tomorrow."
Gasperini, though, was insistent he would battle through.
"We played really badly," he said.
"But I believe in what I am doing, which has given me a lot of happiness before this, it is a difficult period we are going through, but I must come out of this stronger and more resolute.
"We have to be a bit more humble, when we tried to go on the offensive we found ourselves in trouble.
"We have succeeded in playing like that in other matches. But this evening it is clear, it did not work, and that goes beyond just tactics."
Marco Rigoni's double lifted Novara to their first win of the season to fifth place.
Giampaolo Pazzini, the Inter striker, started on the bench but was brought on by Gasperini at half time in place of an uninspiring Diego Forlan after Riccardo Meggiorini had put the hosts ahead after 38 minutes.
Pazzini had Inter's best chance of the night, a shot at goal on 61 minutes, but it went wide.
Inter's defence were made to work by the pairing of Meggiorini and Andrea Mazzarini with the latter missing a chance for a second goal after 53 minutes.
Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto, who caused endless headaches for the Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia all evening, finally obtained a penalty for his side which Marco Rigoni transformed four minutes from time.
And in a late scramble for goal Esteban Cambiasso reduced the deficit for the visitors with a minute to go before Rigoni got his second one minute into time added on.
Leaders Napoli, who beat AC Milan thanks to a Edinson Cavani hat-trick at the weekend, travel to Chievo today and second-placed Juventus host Bologna who are looking for their first points.
AC Milan are at home to third-placed Udinese as AS Roma look for their first win under Luis Enrique on Thursday against promoted Siena.