Conte: “The league is balanced; hard work, organisation and a strong mentality will play important roles"


The Nerazzurri Coach's thoughts on the eve of the clash against Torino

APPIANO GENTILE - The league restarts and for the Nerazzurri their next scheduled clash comes against Giampaolo's Torino on matchday 8 in Serie A. The game is set to be contested tomorrow at 15:00 CET at San Siro. On the eve of the fixture, Antonio Conte took questions from journalists at the Suning Training Centre.

After the break, how’re Inter coming into the match against Torino?

We’re coming in with three players affected by Covid-19. With regard to the rest, aside from Pinamonti, the others are back and are all available. Some played important roles for their national teams and others were less busy.

What do you expect from these games following the break? You've Torino and then Real Madrid afterwards?

The situation is difficult but not only for us. For the teams that compete in European competitions the difficulty increases because every three days we have to play challenging matches. We’ll face the situation in the best way possible with all of our strength, and we’ll hope that injuries and fate will look upon us favourably for a bit.

Could Eriksen even play a little bit deeper, like Pirlo? Is his current issue acclimatising to his surroundings?

I always make choices for the good of Inter and look to do it the correct way. Christian has had many opportunities since the beginning of the year and has played often. When it's appropriate he'll be able to play in the first eleven or in the upcoming game. With regard to the question, my personal view is that it is a role that would penalise him too much. Eriksen has an important role and style of play, both on the left and the right; if you take that away and play him deeper in front of the defence you run the risk of distorting the player, however, it’s a technical decision.

Inter are the most competitive team, according to many observers. Is it important that the team are convinced of their strength?

We have to work; we know what our strengths and weaknesses are and that’s something that can't be understood from the outside. We need to think about ourselves. I hope everyone is always honest, especially people that give us their thoughts. However, we can be proud because being considered competitive means that we have accomplished something extraordinary in a year.

The league is balanced with regard to the ranking. Do you think it’ll remain close up until the finish or could some teams start building points gaps between others?

I hope it’ll remain balanced until the end because it’ll mean more teams can be involved in the league as well as the fight for Champions League positions. Work, organisation and mentalities will then prove more decisive. In this way, I hope that this year will be more balanced and there’ll be the chance for these values to emerge more.

Inter are in first place for passes played deep inside the opposition’s half as well as for the highest average position up the pitch. What’re your thoughts on these statistics?

They're important statistics that show that the team have taken home less points than they’ve deserved. We’re aware of our defensive statistics too; we allow very few shots on our goal but we suffer a high shot-to-goal conversion rate. We need to be more effective in the area and try to concede less shots so we can do better.

What are the things that make you think you can experience a different start compared to before the most recent break?

With regard to results I am in agreement, we could've done better. In terms of what we’re doing on the pitch I want to see the same types of things but to become better at bringing home better results. If you dominate games, play well and don’t win it’s always a negative thing; results change people’s thoughts and feelings.

From now until Christmas the seven teams involved in the European competitions will have ten games to play. Can you already appreciate the value of breaks? Is it possible that Inter and Atalanta have been penalised by having less time to prepare having finished after everyone else? 

Atalanta and ourselves finished very late. We were the last Italian teams to finish, so there wasn’t much time to rest and get ourselves ready. We had to put players in official games without having undertaken friendlies. This is a factor that matters for my teams where organisation is fundamental. There’s a lot of balance for the other teams. Many clubs have strengthened after the end of the season and this makes the league more attractive. It also makes the result less obvious since everyone has to sweat and work hard.

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