APPIANO GENTILE - With just over 24 hours to go until his Inter debut at San Siro against Lecce, Antonio Conte today spoke to the press at the Suning Training Centre: “Obviously, there’s huge desire to get going,” said Conte. “There’s plenty of enthusiasm and passion because it’s the start of a new challenge. I’m pleased with the work that we’ve done since starting on the 7th July. I’ve found great willingness on behalf of the players, who’re men and not just footballers. That’s the the main thing for me.
“It's always important to start with a win. However, for me and our fans, it’ll be even more important to see the right attitude, the right enthusiasm and the right passion. Beyond winning, we want to demonstrate the idea of a team that the fans can recognise. This is something that we care about greatly, we want to create enthusiasm because our fans are proud of the team. The only thing that we’re focused on is working hard to build something special.”
Due to his personal connections to Lecce, tomorrow’s fixture will be an extra special affair for the Coach: “I was born in Lecce and it’s a city that I have in my heart. Obviously, it’ll be an interesting game and I’m pleased to be facing Lecce in Serie A. I will be seeing many people once again, many of which I have a good relationship. It’ll be a great match with many strong connections, although inevitably they’ll be our opponents tomorrow.
“The transfer market? It’s only right that the club are the ones to discuss the transfer market. Right from day one, there’s been clarity with the directors and we’re on the right path. There’s mutual respect and I’m pleased with what we're putting together. What’s more important than names is creating a solid base - a team that believes in what we’re doing. Objectives? We’re working in the right manner and obviously there's still a gap but the chase is on. I don't want any limits to be set, only time will tell in terms of what objectives we're aiming for. What is certain is that to achieve something important, we must work better than the rest. We have a group of players that have huge desire and willingness and this is key even if we face an uphill battle. We’ll see whether or not we get off to a quick start or if it’ll be a slower process. We must give our all to make our fans proud. This must be our main objective and if we manage to do so then we will have already made one big step forward.
“I have extremely high expectations and I look to transmit them through to my players, precisely because I don’t want there to be any excuses because other teams more experienced. So far, I’m pleased with what we’ve achieved, both the club and players. We’re working in a serious manner. When I get on the sidelines, I’m happy because I see players that are ready to sweat. This is something that you can’t take for granted. I’m pleased because we’ve embraced the type of football that we want to play. Obviously, there's still plenty to improve on and things to tweak but the majority has been taken in.
“There’s always been empathy with the fans and when I join a cause I become all for it. I’m happy that we’ll have a full house at San Siro tomorrow, there’s plenty of enthusiasm. This is important for all of us, but it’ll be down to us to deserve this enthusiasm.
“Lukaku? Romelu has arrived full of enthusiasm, he’s a bright lad and he’s done well to fit in right away. He made himself available immediately and he’s working hard. He’s joined after a spell on the margins at Manchester United, therefore, he has huge margins for growth from every perspective. He’s an important player with great potential considering he’s only 26. So far, he’s trained well with all of the other strikers and there’s already a real understanding. We have a solid squad with significant potential and if we want to achieve something important then every single one of us must improve. There’s great willingness and I’m pleased to be their Coach.”