APPIANO GENTILE - That unfortunate away game against Dortmund has been put to one side and Inter are back in action: they take to the pitch at San Siro at 18:00 CET on Saturday against Hellas Verona. Antonio Conte explained to the journalists that it will be a game in which no mistakes will be tolerated: "You need to approach the challenge posed by Hellas with great care, because as we know they are a fit team made up of players who can run and press. It won’t be an easy game, we will need to get over the defeat against Dortmund. Of course there are negative consequences from the loss but it’s also a part of our growing process: we will put the negative stuff, the disappointment, the bitterness and all of that behind us and we will go again."
"When you play two matches of such high importance you need to take into account any possible injuries. I’m not concerned because I have a lot of faith in this group of players: this group of players is doing extraordinary things. There are problems, but they are objective ones, linked to the number of players we have available. Everyone is fully committed here, they’re all giving their all and you can see huge improvements. The group is young and so you can build something of importance. But we have to keep raising the bar, we can’t have excuses, we are Inter, a great team and we need to return to competing for important awards. I raise the bar in a constructive way for everybody, starting with myself."
Conte then gave an update on the injury situation: "D’Ambrosio has been training for a week but he’s still feeling the injury so we will see if he’ll be available in some capacity. Sensi is still suffering from the problem with his adductors and he’s struggling to improve. We tried to manage the injury between Bologna and Dortmund, we’ll make some decisions considering the imminent international break. Looking at the attacking options I’ve plenty of faith in Lukaku and Lautaro, I’m not afraid to play Esposito right from the first whistle and we’ll consider bringing Fonesca and Vergani up from the Primavera and into the first team."
"When I spoke after the Dortmund game, it wasn’t an outburst but rather it was a constructive way of trying to understand where some mistakes had been made without pointing the finger of blame at anyone in particular, I put myself in the spotlight first. I was brought in to change attitudes here at Inter, I’m working to improve the situation. We can and we must do better because we are Inter. I personally have a lot of expectations, I take responsibility for them but everybody must change their attitudes if we want to take Inter back to being one of the big teams. First and foremost I ask a lot of myself and of my staff because we’re seeking excellence, so we can’t be satisfied with anything less. I can’t be satisfied with anything less. This is a historic moment in which we need to raise the bar from every point of view. History can only be changed in this manner."
Returning to the match against Dortmund, Conte provided further insight: "I don’t know whether it was because we lacked strength or because our opponent was strong, but in the second half we were forced to defend deep inside our own half. And it’s clear that we fare better when we are high up the pitch, when we are exerting pressure in the opponent’s half. We’ve scored more than 30 goals however we’ve also conceded a few more goals than other teams, but we attack and defend as eleven players and we won’t blame an individual part of the team."
"Looking at the numbers we could say that we are in a bit of trouble, but the players which I have available are fit and 100% reliable. Progression in the Champions League is obviously complicated now; winning in Dortmund would have been a significant step forward. Now our chances of progressing are small, the only way forward is to get six points."