Conte: “We used the break to improve, let’s raise the bar”

CONTE: “WE USED THE BREAK TO IMPROVE, LET’S RAISE THE BAR”

The full interview with our coach will air on Friday at 21:15 CEST on Inter TV

MILAN – The enforced break lasted months, and now there’s the gradual return to normality. Inter, following their Coppa Italia game, are now ready to resume their league campaign on Sunday at 21:45 CEST at San Siro against Sampdoria. Antonio Conte, the Nerazzurri’s coach, has given an interview to PP Sport that we’ll broadcast to you in full tomorrow at 21:15 CEST on Inter TV and on our official App.

Below are some excerpts from the conversation with our coach:

“Serie A’s suspension due to the COVID-19 emergency was certainly a new situation for everyone, it’s hard to say what kind of impact this break could have. For us, it was an opportunity to work, to review the season’s first seven months, both the negatives and the positives. We tried to optimise time and study new solutions and situations.”

“Quarantine has given more time to experience other aspects of life more, such as family I’ve devoted more time to my daughter, which I can’t really do normally because work often means I’m away from home. The organisation of training sessions was also a totally new situation and I have to thank the player for their great professionalism and willingness to adapt. My staff were hugely important for me and I also thank them: we’ve done a great job and stayed in touch with the guys during such a tough period via video calls.”

From a sporting point of view, Conte commented: “It was a completely new job, and we had to manage and evaluate the workload carefully. We’ve worked hard and I’m happy with what we’ve done from a technical, tactical, physical and video-analysis point of view. If I have to find a positive part of this crisis, it’s that I’ve had time to focus and try to find different areas in which the team can improve.

“We have to be ready, even though we can’t compare it to pre-season games when after the preparation we’d have some friendly matches to practice with more peace of mind. In this case we’re going to have three points up for grabs straight away, so it’s totally different. It’ll be important to understand the various responses we have to make on the pitch and what kind of injury problems we’ll face. We mustn’t forget that playing every three days, training and playing in high summer temperatures won’t be easy. You’ve got to make the fewest mistakes possible, and I’m sure the players won’t need any extra motivation.”

 “The matches behind closed doors, without fans, are obviously strange and different. Playing with a crowd is an important factor, but we’ll have to face this emergency correctly and hope that we can resolve it as soon as possible so that we can play in front of the fans once again. Football is such a beautiful game that’s full of passion and so it feels right to share that with people.”

“What we have in front of us is a path back to winning, there are no shortcuts. It’ll take hard work, sacrifice, effort and passion. I have the sufficient desire and ambition, I always want to raise the bar and I ask everyone who works with me to do the same, every day. I think we’ve started on a good journey and when you start like this, you have to believe in it and be willing to encounter the difficulties. You have to be aware that by working in this manner you can develop, become competitive and try to win something big.”

“I’m proud of how this team’s mentality is improving. The players are aware that if we want to be competitive and fight to win, every single man must raise their level. This is crucial. I see a great hunger on their part do achieve this, which raises the entire team’s level. I’ve seen great dedication and a willingness to work hard, so I’m very proud of that and I’m proud to be their coach.”

Finally, he commented on the analysis done during the break: “A coach is like a tailor, he has to fit the team with the best possible suit. We’ve worked on many things, injured players have returned and now there’s a chance to have the whole squad available.”


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