MILAN - Another big win, Inter’s eleventh on the spin and the only letter the Nerazzurri have known in this girone di ritorno is W. Inter beat Cagliari on matchday 30 in Serie A thanks to Darmian’s goal, which keeps the 11 point gap between them and AC Milan.
Here’s what Antonio Conte had to say after the game:
What were the emotions like for that hug and that kiss with Hakimi?
“I sprinted to go and hug the boys. I want to share in the joy with them and praise them for an immense effort this past week. The group knows that my staff and I are ready to fight for them and it’s right to share these emotions, showing affection even with a kiss! I was to repeat that there are fewer and fewer games left and each win is worth six points to so. AC Milan won yesterday and it was important for us to maintain our lead. It’s not easy to be under constant pressure but we’re getting used to it. It was the first time for a lot of them and I’m really satisfied with the progress that the boys are making. We’ve grown so much in two years in all aspects.”
Does this lead give you a bit of breathing room?
“We just need to keep playing to win, to continue to pedal to the max. We can afford to be making any calculations at this stage and I just like winning too much. I then try to impart this philosophy onto the boys. We’re approaching our goal but we’re not there yet. We’ve taken three massive wins and it’s useless to shy away from that but they’re not enough and we need to keep winning.”
The feeling is that Inter know how to pick their moments, even during a game. The subs gave you a boost; did you think about putting on a third attacker?
“I have sometimes players with three attackers during a game, especially with Sanchez because he is a player that can come on and make a difference. Today, I rested Lautaro and I didn’t want to change the formation at that point in time because I had a lot of quality midfielders on the pitch and Hakimi was coming on on the right. If we hadn’t scored, I’d have sent on Pinamonti to try and force the game but I preferred to stick with that system because the players were creating plenty of opportunities. Well played to the Cagliari keeper because he was brilliant.”
Is there is still room for improvement or are you at a peak?
“This team is stable but that was also the case last season. We finished on 81 points and reached the Europa League final. But it’s inevitable that there are things, which can be improved and the boys know that. However, we’re starting to see the right mentality and fight and the players deserve full credit because they strongly believe in the work that we’re doing.”
Why did you switch Eriksen and Sensi’s positions around?
“Christian was trying his hardest to get into the right position, so I chose to move him to the left where he was doing well. We then moved the ball with greater ease.”
How is Vidal?
“He noticed a bit of a niggle in our last training session, so we decided not to risk it. We hope he can recover soon.”