Inter coach Antonio Conte discussed the Nerazzurri’s impressive 2-0 win over Atalanta earlier this evening and their second place finish in the league in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sports Italia earlier today, after the game.
“I wanted to win. Today I felt like every other game, I certainly have a very direct relationship with the team and I’m happy. There was a good performance against a difficult team, I think we did very well today.
“I’m happy for all the guys and everyone inside Pinetina. We came second, we have nothing to celebrate but we did something we hadn’t seen for a long time and there is satisfaction.”
The 50-year-old Italian coach touched on the Nerazzurri’s plans regarding the Europa League and the league title next season.
“Now we have to finish the Europa League in the best possible way. I can promise the fans that we’ll work hard, then I don’t know where we’ll end up.
“We’ll do everything, I don’t know if we’ll raise the cup but the guys want to show that the criticism we receive sometimes is not at all okay.
“After, we’ll make the right evaluations. It’s been an intense and personally very hard year for me too. I say on a personal level and including everything, it was hard. My satisfaction has been working with these guys, with Oriali, with everyone who is here. They deserved it and it’s right that they have some compliments.”
The former Chelsea and Juventus coach touched on how both himself and the squad have been criticized this season and how the club haven’t defended him or the team.
“My work or the guys’ work hasn’t been recognized, and I’ve seen very little protection from the club. When you want to win, you have to be strong on the inside and off the field. At the end of the year, we’ll talk to the president and make our assessments.
“I don’t like it when people get on the bandwagon, you have to be on board all the time, in good times and bad. That didn’t happen at Inter, I thought there was more protection and there wasn’t. If you’re weak, it becomes difficult to protect the team and the coach.”
He spoke about how it has been a difficult first year at Inter, especially considering the lack of depth in the squad.
“It’s been a very intense and difficult year, the guys have been good at creating a united squad despite the difficulties of the year such as finding ourselves with only three midfielders or two strikers.
“We’ve overcome these situations, today I feel I give a lot to these guys and the people who work with them, people who have done a lot. The staff at our warehouse, physiotherapists. Let’s just say to these guys thanks.”
Conte continued discussing how the club didn’t protect him this season despite his work with the squad.
“Nothing is missing, I was called here to be a part of a winning project. At the end of the season I’ll say what didn’t go well and evaluations will be made. Then everyone has to live quietly, I have a family, and I had little protection from the club.
“Up until 15 days ago you shovel things you don’t say on TV towards me and the players, there must be protection. We have to be strong off the pitch too, we still have a lot to do.”
The 50-year-old Italian coach commented on how many people are now jumping on the Nerazzurri bandwagon, and how he isn’t impressed with this.
“I saw people get on the bandwagon today, and today a lot of people shouldn’t get on it. They’re not heavy words, those who know me know that I don’t say things I don’t mean.
“We had to eat crap for months and got zero protection. It bothered me so much to see people on the bandwagon now, then no protection because everyone were just looking out for themselves. Now there’s the Europa League, God sees and provides. I have an issue, I have a vision and I see the path to take. And I’m not talking about the market.”
Finally, Conte spoke about what protection he is expecting from the club.
“In February 2017 Spalletti denounced aomw very serious things, we’re in 2020 and we’re back to square one, nothing has changed.
“To reduce the gap with Juve you have to grow on and off the pitch you have to understand if you can make these improvements. You have to learn from your mistakes.
“I hold up my hands to a certain point, but no one is stupid, the foundation is built during the first year. I am not talking about the transfer window or the players.