Inter coach Antonio Conte believes that tonight’s victory is a starting point for the Nerazzurri’s title charge, he told an Italian broadcaster after his sides 3-1 victory at the San Siro this evening.
Speaking to Sky Sports Italia after this evenings resounding victory at home to Lazio, Conte described the victory as a starting point in Inter achieving the goal of winning the Scudetto.
“It was a goal that we had been chasing for some time, to get to the top. We did it today in a match played against an excellent team.
“I congratulate Simone Inzaghi, Lazio are tough and have quality, six consecutive victories show his strength. At the same time there was mental strength on our part.
“I’m happy for the boys, we have to think that this is a starting point.
“Now we have the derby, getting ahead is better, a nice game between two teams with ambitions” explained Conte on tonight’s victory against a tough opponent.
Inter striker Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace tonight ensuring Inter took all three points, the Belgian has relished under Conte since arriving at the San Siro.
“He certainly gave a great response like the whole team. Lautaro himself did a great performance but like everyone else, Perisic, Brozovic.
“It becomes difficult not to speak well of anyone. For Romelu it is important to give such answers after games that are a bit quiet, there was someone who talked about psychological aftermath after the derby but the boy is okay.
“There are moments of lower form but today he is back in an overbearing way, we need this Romelu and the whole team to play every game with this attitude and this attention.
“A huge round of applause must be given to everyone” said Conte when asked on Lukaku’s influential performance.
With rumours of Gagliardini being tipped to start this evening, Conte’s inclusion of Eriksen came as a surprise pre-match however paid off as the Dane played a good game this evening.
“He’s starting to understand what we want from him. He played a very good game too. This is the way, everyone must feel like protagonists.
“Even those who have recovered now like Vecino who is now okay after not playing for so many of us. Gagliardini also entered with the right attitude, Perisic played a remarkable match in both phases.
“We have to work in this way, knowing that the goal is to make the fans proud” added Conte when asked on Christian Eriksen’s performance.
Eriksen has been a constant topic of conversation for Conte since the Dane arrived from Spurs as his inclusion in the team has been sporadic.
“I think he had some problems understanding Italian football, which is very difficult. Plus now there is a greater intensity than in previous years. He started to understand, to enter into certain situations.
“We tried to insert it by changing the system and trying to involve him more.
“Now he has taken a step towards us, he understands his teammates because now he also speaks Italian even though I can speak English with him.
“He is a player who gives quality, he has an angry leg with a different grip than before.
“Having found him is an extra weapon for me, I’m more calm because I can count on him” added Conte on Eriksen’s development at Inter.
Another rare inclusion in the starting 11 was Perisic in the left wing-back position, who is the least defensive minded option for that position but the Croatian played a vital role in an important victory tonight up against a tricky Manuel Lazzari.
“For him too, he played well, we worked on the role because he is an offensive winger from 4-2-3-1, now working on it he manages to do the two phases in the right way.
“He can still grow a lot because he has potential that not even he knows.
“He has right, left, he can jump the man and In the defensive phase today he was very good, he didn’t do anything wrong.
“I’m happy for him, returning to Inter he put himself in question.
“For certain things we made a virtue of necessity but when there is physical and human qualitative material, good results can be obtained by working.
“With Ivan we expand that range of solutions that was previously limited” said Conte on Perisic.
Inter put out a great performance from 1 to 11 this evening and to pick an individual to praise is difficult, as Conte reiterated when asked for his man of the match.
“It would be difficult to give the man of the match even for me. The important thing is that the team wins, the guys are tuned to this.
“Today must be a starting point, otherwise everything we have done would be in vain” concluded Conte.
Inter will be delighted with tonight’s outcome and sitting at the top of the table, however there is more work to be done starting next week with the derby.