After managing to grab one point from the Uefa Champions League opener at home at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milano’s San Siro district against Slavia Prague, Inter coach Antonio Conte was far from happy when speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia.
“While they were good at playing “European”, attacking with high intensity, we were just not able to find any solutions. In the other games this season we have faced teams playing like we expected them to do. Instead they pressured us and I’m not very happy with tonight’s performance and for that there is only one responsible person and that is me, because I didn’t make the right choices before the game and didn’t foresee what type of game to expect.”
“The players should be left in peace, but we could have done much more, this is not the kind of football we train for. We have to get better also from a personality point of view, especially when we are in difficulties. And when I’m talking about a path of growth it is because I know which situation we are in.”
The Nerazzurri coach dismissed talks that Inter’s poor performance was down to physical factors arguind that the team still needs time to grow.
“No, absolutely not. The opposite, we should be outrunning them instead, but they beat us in every aspect: intensity, handling counterattacks. We didn’t show any of our ideas of playing football, but that is part of the growing process.”
“There is a lot of work still to be done. The football on this level is very high and we need to grow. And I repeat: there is only one responsible and that is me, this is not our football.”
The former Chelsea coach suggested that maybe the players were already thinking about Saturday’s derby but this is part of their learning process.
“Could be, but this is part of the growing process. When I talk about not getting caught in enthusiasm, I do that for a reason. There are so many players, like Lautaro, that hasn’t played on this level and had to enter in a difficult moment, the same goes for Sensi. They gave everything they have and it’s only fair that I take all the responsibility. I am here in order to make them better players.”
Conte then refused to talk about the performances of any individual players but refused to saying everyone under-performed.
“No, I don’t talk about individual players. Tonight no. Tonight we all played below our normal level, especially me.”
“We don’t practice the long balls, but we use them in order to create attacks as well as create pressure. I hate the long play and today we did that, but that wasn’t part of our game plan.”