APPIANO GENTILE – Inter are ready to take to the pitch again: at 18:00 CEST on Saturday, they’ll face Genoa at the Ferraris. Ahead of the match, Antonio Conte responded to questions from journalists, with the Nerazzurri Coach having the following to say from the Suning Training Centre:
It’ll be Inter’s third game in seven days, how are you managing the players’ energy levels and what are you expecting from Genoa?
“Right now, we need to focus on ourselves as we look to manage the situation and get our players back to full health. The matches we’ll be preparing for will all be different, and we need to ensure that those who are constantly on the pitch are able to recover both physically and mentally."
Are you more concerned about the team’s absences or the fact that Inter haven’t been winning?
"I’m not worried: this is how it is and we’ll face the current situation with our heads held high, not giving too much weight to our absentee list or what we’ve been experiencing. I’m also not concerned when it comes to footballing matters: we’re playing good football and have been picking up less than we've deserved. However, it’s true that we’ve been punished for moments of carelessness, and we need to work on this. But this group has desire, determination and a spirit of sacrifice: we’ll keep pushing forward."
What is the most important characteristic that Inter need to add to their game to start to gain consistency in terms of results?
"When it comes to intensity levels, I think we were even superior to Gladbach in this respect. We’re on the right path, and often people’s opinions are swayed by results. I’m happy with what we’re doing: we always play as a team and have a great mentality. There have been factors which have gone against us in the last three matches.”
‘Happiness’ is a word that you’ve been frequently using. Can you explain why and what this means?
"We need to give 110% to achieve good results and produce good performances. We have to work hard and can take Klopp’s Liverpool side as an example: they didn’t win anything in the first few years, but they were happy to build what has now become a war machine. We’ve gone our own way and are happy with what we’re building. From the outside, you can see a structure that we’re putting into place. We’re pleased about this.”
How important is the psychological side of things at the moment?
“We don’t need to intervene in a particular way. This is a group of players who, first and foremost, are men with a real sense of responsibility. The pessimism from the outside is not something that is felt within the group.”
Inter are scoring a lot but also conceding too many goals. The team are looking for balance: compared to last year, what has changed that needs rectifying?
"If we look at what we’re trying to do, we’re involving the whole squad. We always aim to implement our ideas and have scored many goals, and we could have even found the net on more occasions. We’ve also conceded too many goals, some of which were very avoidable. While we need to continue to put in the hard work, there’s a positive aspect to keep in mind: due to all our absences, many new players have been able to slot in and get used to our way of playing. We always try to take the game to our opponents, and no side has dominated against us or been superior to us. This is our mentality, and we’ll carry this forward in order to become solid and successful again.”