Inter coach Antonio Conte spoke to Italian broadcaster InterTV after the Nerazzurri’s nail-biting 2-1 win in the Serie A over Hellas Verona tonight.
“I’m very pleased with the performance, with what we’ve done. The game didn’t get off to a good start, on the contrary, it was in favour of Verona. They were defending with two lines, following their opponents on all sides. Often in the defensive phase they played with a 7-3.”
“It wasn’t easy. We paid for a counterattack, then we managed to keep calm and clear. The guys were good, even in the second half we defended with a 50-meter pitch behind us.”
“I don’t like to talk about individual players, but Skriniar was monstrous. Bastoni is a 20-year-old who is growing up in an impressive way. Stefan de Vrij was also good.”
“We were pushed by the fans that believed in us, who were with us, from the first minute to the last. In the end, enjoying the win together was the best thing possible.”
The 50-year-old Italian then touched on the two goals scored by midfielders.
“At half time I told the guys to look for width for our wingers, to try to get the midfielders to join us. Romelu had to look for the ball and turn it around. We did well.”
“Today we took an important step, because we came from a bitter disappointment, that against Dortmund. This team always learns from everything, even defeats. We’re improving, because if you don’t regroup as a great team, you won’t win these matches.”
“I’m very happy, especially for the players. There’s great desire, great determination and great willingness. We’ve kept a very high level of intensity in this period.”
He also spoke about the squad’s reaction following Hellas Verona’s opening goal.
“Our strength must be to combine great character with our idea of football. You can’t just win with character, there’s also an idea, but you must never give in to difficulty.”
“We have a very young foundation that has a lot of room for improvement, it’s inevitable that, when you’re at Inter, you have to push the accelerator and accelerate this process of growth as soon as possible.”
“I’m lucky enough to work with exceptional young people who want to grow up, work, stay for many years at Inter and become important players.”
“We have won 31 points in 12 games, no one could have expected that, even the most optimistic forecast didn’t see this. We created a very strong synergy with all the staff members. We did something very important.”
Finally, Conte discussed Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni.
“I don’t like to praise individuals, but today the three defenders played a monstrous game, from every point of view. Alessandro has precise characteristics, he has to improve in his defensive lethality, but he has a good game and personality, and today he has been a constant thorn in the side of Hellas Verona’s defence.”
“He knows very well how much his team-mates and I respect him, but he knows that he needs to improve. He is an asset for Italian football, he can become a pillar at Inter and a pillar for the next few years.”
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