Inter coach Antonio Conte was delighted with the mentality shown by his players in their 1-1 draw against Napoli at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona yesterday.
The Nerazzurri rescued a point against Gennaro Gattuso’s side through a Christian Eriksen strike from the edge of the box to cancel out Samir Handanovic’s own goal, allowing them to open a nine-point gap at the top of Serie A.
Despite the unfortunate own goal, Inter continued to push forward and play their own game, drawing praise from Conte in an interview with InterTV after the final whistle.
“The mental solidity is the thing that gives me the most satisfaction. In the end, a draw against Napoli still pleases me,” Conte declared.
“We are showing mental solidity. To win at the end of the season, it is essential, whatever may happen. The lads took an important step today.”
The former Juventus tactician stressed that Napoli were one of the toughest opponents that Inter could have faced and felt that a draw was a fair result.
“You know my thoughts on Napoli, I consider them to be one of the best teams in Italy. Having drawn the match, despite the bad luck with the goal conceded, is okay and I’m happy with the reaction.
“We created many chances and we are satisfied. It’s important not to lose these head-to-head clashes and we didn’t,” he added.
Inter have their destiny in their own hands with such a healthy lead and only seven league games remaining, and Conte sought to remind his players to focus on themselves.
“This is something that I have been repeating to the team ever since we went top. There is no use in hoping for help from the others, I reiterated this from the start. The group believed it and we pushed forward with focus only on ourselves. We always try to keep our foot on the accelerator,” Conte concluded.