Inter coach Antonio Conte was pleased with the result but not entirely with the teams performance when speaking to journalists in the official post match press conference following the 2-1 win away against Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena.
“For sure this was another type of game, like I expected. During yesterday’s [Saturday] press conference I made that clear for everyone, that this would be a difficult game in a tough ground. I am convinced that whoever comes here is up for a challenge.”
“We managed to manage a tough situation, adapting to Cagliari’s long balls and above all adjusting to a game with a lot of contrast. I am very demanding as a coach, there is a lot to do. But I can also say that we won a difficult game.”
“I was once a footballer and I know that when you go to Cagliari to play you have to make an effort. They were really good and tried to play their game so congratulations to the boys for the three points. Having said that, we must continue to grow in order to improve.”
The former Chelsea coach was disgusted with the shameful racist chanting against Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku when he converted the penalty.
“I have to be honest, I was so into the game that I didn’t hear what the crowd chanted. Having said that, I think that Italy has a lot of work ahead in dealing with these kind of issues, whether it being in football or in other professions.”
“I’m not just talking about tonight, last week Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the same thing when he was insulted. Abroad, the fans go to the stadium to cheer for their team. They expect a lot from their team but it ends there. They don’t insult the player doing their job.”
“I can understand the frustration from the fans but there must be some kind of respect. In Italy we need to improve this matter. For me it was fine, nobody insulted me today, but often there are a lot of insults where nobody says anything. This is bad.”
Conte then spoke about his attackers, lauding new signing Alexis Sanchez.
“Lautaro Martinez could have a few minutes with Argentina and then come back to us. Sanchez, I know very well both from his time with Barcelona and Arsenal. At Manchester United he had a bad stint and didn’t do that good, but it is up to us to get him back at the level where he belongs.”
“We will rely on him a lot, he’s a player that can smell a goal and a player that can go past his defender. He is our go-to guy, together with Lukaku, Martinez and Esposito, a player that will continue his journey with us.”
“In our squad we have great players like Vecino and Gagliardini who are capable of making that last pass. I know that they have the potentiality to grow a lot. Vecino could do better and Gagliardini has to get back to the Gagliardini we know. Then we have Sensi, and Barella.”
“If we play with a 3-4-3 formation their possibility to make a difference vanishes. Then of course during a game, there is always the possibility to change formation. When I have all the players available we will try different formations.”
In conclusion Conte agreed that VAR had completely changed football in a positive way but that the new rule changes concerning hand ball are confusing.
“The new rules that have been introduced to football are very bold in the sense that they totally change the vision of how to play football. Especially on fouls regarding hand ball.”
“Being outside of the pitch there is always the constant fear of getting a call against you. But I’m not scared of VAR, because I see it as a useful tool to manage different situations. But many rules have changed, where the issue of hand ball is the one most difficult to understand.”
“In order to be fully secure, we need to amputate the defenders hands, because otherwise it is really hard to play and to accept the rules of how the hand ball rule works.”