Antonio Conte reflected on Inter’s vital 2-0 Champions League group stage success over Borussia Dortmund in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia post-match.
“These are three important points. The type of relationship with the players is important: when you are honest and you talk in their face, in the end they appreciate you,” he started.
“Dortmund changed their system and with them defending as a back five it shows that they were afraid of us. It was a tactical game and we were good and performed as we had prepared. Even when they returned to 4-2-3-1, we did good to consolidate the victory.
“Our situation is not simple because you can be made to pay for having so many injuries but I am very happy especially for the boys, these are the nights that repay them for the sacrifices they make. Last year they worked so hard with Spalletti to get to this Champions League and everything needed to be done to continue this dream.
“We know we are not favourites, but we had to win to keep our chances alive. Now let’s recover, because in three days time we have to play against Parma, who are doing very well. There is no time to enjoy anything.
He then explained why Inter pressed Dortmund as they did.
“If you give space to Dortmund on the field, it’s suicide. We had chosen a particular area to press in. We knew we could not lose the ball in the middle of the park as they are devastating on the counter attack. They didn’t come at us as we thought they would. We were very good in all phases of the match, unlike against Sassuolo.”
He then went on to praise his three midfielders for their performances.
“We work a lot on the construction phase and all three of them played really important matches in both phases of the game. Brozovic sometimes finds himself out of position but today he, Barella and Gagliardini really done great against an opponent who are not easy to play against at all. It will be tough in Dortmund but we know we can play them.”
Next he spoke on 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito, who came off the bench for his first appearance of the season and looked very lively.
“I have said it several times, both in the media and also in the dressing room. He knows he has to keep his head down, but he trusts me completely. He is an important player for us. I am sorry for not being able to send him to the World Cup, but there is a reason for that, because I need him.”
He concluded by talking on Nicolo Barella, who picked up yet another booking.
“We are working on it. He scares me and I get anxious when he gets booked but there are players like him.”