Conte on the eve of Inter vs. Sampdoria: "No holds barred during the final part of the season"


Quotes from the Nerazzurri Coach prior to Sunday's 21:45 CEST kick-off

MILAN – League football is finally back. After more than three months of waiting, the Nerazzurri are set to take to the San Siro pitch to play their matchday 25 clash against Sampdoria. The game, which will take place behind closed doors, is scheduled for 21:45 CEST on Sunday evening (check out the Nerazzurri’s calendar here). On the eve of this important fixture, Coach Antonio Conte was interviewed by Inter TV and gave his thoughts ahead of the clash.

“We have great desire to go again. This is normal: simply training isn’t ideal. We need competitive action. We’ve worked hard to get ourselves ready, a demanding end to the season awaits.”

The period in quarantine resulted in a number of weeks being spent away from the training pitch. New aspects have since been looked at during the team’s preparations: “We’ve used this period to work from both a physical and tactical point of view. We’ve tried to work with the aim of improving, studying various solutions in the process. Take Eriksen, for example: he’s now fully settled in. I’m happy with how we’ve worked: we’ve refined the knowledge that we’d already acquired during our previous months together. Our objective remains to get the best out of all the players in the squad.”

The restart will be marked by two new aspects: games with no spectators and the possibility of making five substitutions: “I think the rule change regarding substitutions is appropriate: we’ll be playing every three to four days, the heat will be a factor and therefore everyone will be needed. We’ve also worked with this in mind, trying to involve all the players. I’m feeling very calm: all of my lads know what they need to do, both when they start and when they come on during games. As regards the fans, it’s obviously difficult for them not being able to come to the stadium, and we feel this absence too. We hope that this really complicated period will pass because we need normality to return and the Nerazzurri fans back supporting us.”

A heavy fixture list is in store, while the new kick-off times are also something to consider: “Planning for a match that will kick off at 21:45 requires attention to detail in terms of how we organise the day: breakfast, lunch and breaks need to be considered. We’ll be playing 13 games in quick succession and we’ve decided that we won’t stay together overnight: the players will sleep in their own homes and then we’ll meet up on matchday. This is a consolidated way of doing things abroad.”

Inter will be coming up against a Sampdoria side eager to add points to their tally: “We’ll be facing Ranieri, who, aside from being an excellent coach, is one of my friends and someone who I regularly meet up with. I wish him all the best… but only after this game! Winning on Sunday would mean moving to within six points of top spot with twelve games to go: it’s not an impossible mountain to climb. We’ve worked hard and with intensity. I’m feeling positive.

“We want finish the final part of the league season playing at the maximum level with no holds barred and no limits. While we’ve got less margin for error than those ahead of us, we have desire, enthusiasm and passion. The team has taken another step forward in its development under all aspects.”

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Inter-Sampdoria, le parole di Antonio Conte alla vigilia del match

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