Inter coach Antonio Conte discussed the Nerazzurri’s 1-1 draw against Napoli and elimination from the Coppa Italia in an interview with Italian broadcaster Rai Sport immediately after the game.
“In the two matches we deserved much more. There’s very little to complain about to the guys, it’s right, it’s the football we want, to dominate the match. We’ve created a lot, we could have been clinical in front of goal.”
The Lecce born coach highlighted how the Napoli goalkeeper kept the Partenopei in the tie and how the game fit the vision of the coach.
“I saw some amazing Ospina saves. The goal they scored was a light touch that we could have avoided. I’m satisfied, it’s the path we’ve taken, it’s the football we want to play, we made the match our own. We conceded a goal that leaves a bit of a bitter taste in our mouths.”
He commented on the attacking partnership of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, both of whom failed to find the back of the net.
“I see the glass as half full. We created a lot, there were lots of Ospina saves, the best player on the pitch. You can improve in everything and in the finishing, but I have little to complain about in terms of performance and desire.
“We did what we tried in training, we’re trying to improve as much as we did before, I’m satisfied. I’m sorry for the guys, they deserved to play in the final.”
Conte touched on the performance of Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen and how he was satisfied with the performance in the game.
“I’m satisfied with the performance. Napoli played closed to their defence and counter attacked. In these situations, it’s not easy to find a way in, we created a lot, the midfielders did a great job.
“Eriksen is integrating, we’re working and you can see the results. It wasn’t easy, the statistics speak of a team that dominated.”
The former Chelsea and Juventus boss spoke about the goal scored by Dries Mertens and whether the Inter defenders could have done more.
“In the corner, the positions were right. Then the action developed, and we lost positioning. There was a cross and we lost our positions. Unfortunately, you pay for the mistake. I’m sorry, but we have to treasure it and understand that details make all the difference.
“We have some steps to take, but this is the way. Inter had a great game. Dominating against a team like Napoli is an important thing. We would have deserved the final, these are disappointments that must make us angry and make us grow.”
Conte repeated that he was happy with the performance despite the failure to advance in the competition.
“Often the result directs criticism. I’m a coach and I’m happy because that’s the path we want to take, an aggressive team that has shot 17 times. These are the facts, they had two shots on goal. We had 60% ball possession. Congratulations to Napoli, but I make very critical analyses, from a performance point of view I’m very happy, we deserved the final.”
Finally, Conte spoke about his decision to line up the team in a 3-4-1-2 formation in order to accommodate Eriksen, who played behind the striking duo.
“We played in a 3-4-1-2 today, he played behind the strikers, it’s another system. Today Eriksen was behind the strikers and had a clear reference that was Demme. We played differently. The trequartista has a reference, the defensive midfielder.
“He doesn’t have to run far, but he runs 12-13 km. I’m satisfied with him, maybe I saw another game. He played well, he was decisive, he could have scored another goal. I think it’s a positive note, we found an ad hoc situation to put our players in the best conditions.”