Inter coach Antonio Conte discussed the Nerazzurri’s incredible 4-2 derby win over rivals AC Milan in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sports Italia immediately after the final whistle.
First, the 50-year-old Italian coach touched on the derby win and what it means to the squad.
“Surely it was a special night, because in the first half I think we were in great difficulty maybe the most so far this season.
“There was a risk of getting overloaded, but we were good at re-balancing ourselves and understanding where we needed to improve, to have faith in what we had done. The credit goes to these guys, being able to resist the suffering means that you are preparing to grow and do something good.”
The former Chelsea and Juventus coach refused to suggest that the win has made the difference in the fight for the Scudetto.
“It’s absolutely very early to be talking about things that we should still dream about today. It’s inevitable that this period of games will be intense for us. Afterwards we can say more about our skills and potential and possibly different chances compared to the beginning of the season.
“We’ll have to face important matches as early as Wednesday against Napoli, then we’ll have Lazio who have started an important journey and have strengthened over the years. It takes time and patience, but we’re doing great things and today the guys have shown great strength and great attributes.”
Conte then touched on what he said to the players in the half time team talk.
“We didn’t have to talk much, in difficult situations you always have to take responsibility. I had them myself in the first half, as did everyone on and off the field.
“We all come out of difficult situations together and that’s what we did today. We’ll have to keep that in mind, because this will give us strength for future moments of difficulty.”
The Italian coach spoke about the importance of beating the Rossoneri and what the team need to do to improve their first half.
“Playing the second half, scoring four goals against AC Milan is not for everyone… We know what we did wrong, with humility we made changes. You have to understand that not every game can be played in the same way, sometimes not pressing too hard can be an excellent strategy. But these are all situations that are evolving during the year, tonight we have understood that we must always use our heads above our legs. We need head, heart and legs last, in the second half we used the head together with the heart and there was a great performance.”
The former Chelsea and Juventus coach also discussed the performances of new arrivals Ashley Young, Victor Moses and Christian Eriksen.
“Young and Moses didn’t have to do the slow learning approach, Moses played under me at Chelsea. For midfielders it gets more complicated because I always ask for something specific, for openings, for positioning between the lines, things that Christian has in his DNA because he has a great reading of football.
“But he has to find his rhythm and get into this idea. I don’t deny that I thought about using him behind Lukaku but then I opted for Sanchez because having two strikers is too important.
“But he’s got a great read of the game, he’s finding the rhythm he had lost during his Tottenham issues. The more time passes the more important he can become for us.”
Finally, Conte spoke about Italy coach Roberto Mancini, who was in the San Siro for the game.
“He won a lot with Inter, I hope to do what he did with Inter. It would already be a lot for me. He’s doing a great job for the national team, let’s also mention Lele Oriali who is a great person. The best of luck.
“Oriali aged with me? Sure, but Mancini knows how much he cares, I hope I’ll grow old with the same passion as him.”
Inter are now top of the league table, tied on points with rivals and reigning champions Juventus.