Antonio Conte had words of praise for several Inter players after tonight’s 2-1 win at home to Sassuolo.
Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez scored a goal in each half to secure a priceless victory over the Neroverdi at San Siro.
Inter have now won 10 games on the bounce in Serie A and are 11 points clear of AC Milan in second, with just nine games left.
“I have to praise the players because they’re demonstrating great desire, determination and unity of intent,” Conte told Inter TV after the crucial win against Roberto De Zerbi’s side.
“Everyone is taking part: Andrea Ranocchia played at Bologna, Ashley Young hadn’t played for a while, Matteo Darmian played at centre-back today and produced a brilliant performance.
“We have someone like Alexis Sanchez who would deserve to play more and is super positive, when he comes on he always makes the difference.
“We’ve recovered a player like Matias Vecino while Arturo Vidal is still on his way back, and we need him.
“Roberto Gagliardini always delivers, Christian Eriksen is a different player compared to before… everything is going well.
“That said, we’ll enjoy these three points tonight and then from tomorrow morning we’re thinking about Cagliari.”
Conte was unable to downplay the significance of victory this evening, but he warned his players that now was when things could start getting really tough for Inter.
“Every victory from now to the end of the season is worth six points, there’s not much to add,” he argued.
“We have a good lead over second and third but my past experience has taught me that we need to stay on the ball without giving anything up.
“There are players who find themselves close to such an extraordinary achievement for the first time.
“This is certainly an important win for us.
“If we’d been more attentive and clinical then we’d have scored a few more goals today.
“We left Sassuolo to have possession but I don’t remember Samir Handanovic making any big saves.”
Conte was also asked how he had managed to keep Inter’s concentration levels high after such a long run of wins in Serie A, which dates back to a 4-0 victory over Benevento in January.
“I have to say that the lads are doing very well, they’ve understood the situation and how important this moment is,” he replied.
“There’s no need to keep the concentration high because everyone is already concentrated.
“These players are improving and acquiring a winning mentality which leads you to be humble, sacrifice yourselves all together and win games like the one today, in which you have everything to lose.”
Inter will return to Serie A action on Sunday afternoon when they welcome struggling Cagliari to San Siro.