Inter coach Antonio Conte spoke to gathered reporters at a press conference today, following on from the Nerazzurri’s tough 1-1 draw against Lecce. His words were noted by Italian media outlet FcInterNews.
“There’s always a great feeling for me when I return to Lecce, no matter what I come back for,” Conte said.
“There will always be this attachment. Am I proud to be from Salento? Need I even point this out? Having said that, I’m a professional and I do my job.”
The 50-year-old Italian coach spoke about what it means for him to return to Lecce.
“Here I go back 30-35 years. Here I spent my childhood, being a ball boy. And then I had the luck and the skill to make my debut with Lecce.”
He then touched on Lecce’s decision to change their formation.
“I think Liverani changed the formation after weighing up a few different things. Today they were less proactive than usual, trying to hit us on the break with Babacar and Lapadula. Congratulations to them.
“We had the chances to win it. But we are a team under construction, we have only been working together for six months.
“Either we always go with the engine at high speeds or we are struggling because we are not the kind of side which is able to win at a cruising speed in Lecce.”
The former Chelsea and Juventus coach spoke about Lecce’s equaliser.
“We conceded a goal that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. But there’s always something to improve when you concede a goal.”
The Italian coach was happy with his squad despite the draw.
“The responses were there, importantly, from everyone. And that’s why we had the first half of the season that we did. We have to keep working.
“If we can then expand the squad in some departments, the club will try to do it. I think about improving my players.”
Finally, Conte discussed Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez.
“He’s training, he’s trying to regain his best condition after his injury and surgery. He’s been out three months. We have to be patient.”
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Lecce coach Fabio Liverani spoke to gathered reporters at a press conference today, following on from his side’s 1-1 draw against Inter. His words were noted by Italian media outlet FcInter1908.
“We were coming from a delicate period and the team was rewarded for what they did in the 90 minutes,” he said.
“We defended in an orderly manner but we had the strength, quality and lucidity to create chances, which was very difficult against this year’s Inter under Conte.
“It took a lot of heart and sacrifice, that’s what I told my team.”
The Italian coach then spoke about the tactics the team used in today’s game.
“The choices are made according to the players you have at your disposal,” he explained.
“With the defence we managed to take space away from Inter’s attackers, thanks in no small part to Jacopo Petriccione who put in his best performance since coming up to Serie A.”
Finally, Liverani discussed Lecce’s strong results against bigger teams.
“We face them in the same way, we have some difficulties, we’re a newcomer and we’ve had a lot of injuries, especially since our win at Fiorentina.
“It’s difficult in this league. What I’ve asked the club for isn’t a star striker like Lautaro Martinez, it’s just players who can play in multiple roles who are competitive enough to win a starting shirt.
“Khouma Babacar was good, today’s performance must be a reference point for him going forwards.”
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Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi discussed the failed exchange deal involving Matteo Politano and Leonardo Spinazzola in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sports Italia today.
“Spinazzola is very well and is very happy to stay at Roma and will stay here,” Petrachi confirmed.
“As for Marotta, I respect him and we’re friends but there was a mistake between him and the sporting director Piero Ausilio. Roma had certainly closed the deal, but then we know how it went.”
Petrachi explained why he felt the deal collapsed.
“There was talk of Spinazzola needing extra medical examinations, but Marotta had him at Juve and so he knows him,” he explained.
“The operation was quietly closed, but then Inter wanted to change conditions that were not acceptable to us and everyone went back. I’m sorry for Matteo Politano, who came to Rome with such desire.”
The 51-year-old Italian executive discussed whether the Giallorossi would continue their chase of Politano.
“You have to let common sense prevail, you know that in the market some things happen. But when the word is out, the operation is closed.
“Now I don’t know what they want to do with Politano but Inter doesn’t need him and we’ll look for a forward.
“If they want to give him to Roma on loan, we’ll be ready to listen to them and do what’s best for the player. Politano is Inter’s property but he could also be a definitive purchase for Roma.”
The Giallorossi sporting director touched on why the club approached Politano.
“Let’s try to use common sense, there will always be fights in the market but after the word has been gotten out these things are upsetting.
“After Nicolò Zaniolo’s injury I called Politano’s agent, Davide Lippi, because we found ourselves needing a forward.
“They were the ones who asked for Spinazzola, we found ourselves thinking we had to give up a guy who was doing very well.”
Finally, Petrachi discussed how the deal collapsed before the medical examinations even happened.
“I’m talking about a mistake because Inter changed their minds before the medical. Marotta called Guido Fienga saying he wasn’t convinced and that he wanted to do medical examinations.
“That’s where the mistake comes from. When I get the OK from my chief executive, the operation is closed as far as I’m concerned. The signatures and details were missing, but the operation was as good as closed.”
Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni spoke to Italian media outlet Inter TV after the Nerazzurri’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Lecce earlier today, where the 20-year-old Italian defender scored his first goal for Inter.
“We knew it would be tough,” Bastoni said.
“But we struggled to impose our game and we are sorry to lose points away from home.”
Bastoni came on for Diego Godin after 69 minutes, before scoring the opening goal moments later.
Asked why Conte made the change, he explained: “We were struggling to cover some spaces at the back. I was brought on because I’m more comfortable playing on the left-hand side as I’m left-footed. After that we did everything well.
“It’s a shame about the two points dropped. We have to work towards Cagliari, which won’t be the same game as the one we played in the Coppa Italia against them. We hope to win.”
Inter are still second in the league table, but Serie A leaders Juventus could go four points ahead if they beat Parma tonight.
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Inter coach Antonio Conte discussed the Nerazzurri’s tough 1-1 draw against Lecce in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sports Italia earlier today.
Alessandro Bastoni opened the scoring with 20 minutes left after Inter had toiled for much of the first hour.
But Marco Mancosu equalised shortly afterwards to cost Conte’s side two precious points in the race for the Scudetto.
“The draw was the result of a subdued performance,” Conte said.
“We must always be at our maximum or else we won’t be able to win. Although seeing the stats and corners we should have brought home the three points.”
“It happens, we always have to go to the max and when we don’t, we’re a normal team.”
Conte touched on the difficulties Inter faced against Fabio Liverani’s men.
“Lecce changed their formation, to a 5-3-2,” the Italian explained.
“We were inaccurate in the build-up phase and this is clear. It’s not easy when you’re playing against a team with the same formation, the problem is that we had chances. We have to be more evil and score goals.”
The former Chelsea and Juventus coach discussed what the squad needs to do to maintain momentum.
“We must always have the players at the max, or else we don’t win. We’ve always been good at keeping the engine at top speed and we’ve proved it, but if we go at cruising speed, we don’t have the ability to win.”
Conte touched on the transfer market a little.
“In the transfer window it becomes difficult to manage the situation, and I seem to have been very clear. Everything I say, then, is always amplified and exploited according to how the press wants it.
“I’m happy with my players, the club is evaluating everything. We’re doing our best to try to maintain an important average.”
Finally, Conte avoided discussing the Nerazzurri’s moves in the transfer window.
“I don’t want to get into the transfer window, then you exploit everything. It’s the team that has to decide what to do, at what cost.
“They’re there, I’m coaching, and I have to get the best out of my guys.”
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Inter defender Stefan de Vrij spoke to Inter TV following the Nerazzurri’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Lecce earlier today.
“Obviously there is a lot of disappointment for the points dropped, we wanted the win,” he said.
“We looked for it, unfortunately we didn’t succeed. They defended well. It’s a shame that we didn’t manage to keep the lead.”
The 27-year-old Dutchman then touched on the difficulties the Nerazzurri found in the game.
“We expected this kind of defensive game from Lecce, especially given their formation and their recent downturn in form,” he explained.
“They sat deep hoping to counterattack and frustrate us. We crossed a lot but we didn’t manage to become more dangerous.
“We played almost always in their half, for us defenders it’s important to get organised and when they play the ball long, we have to be ready to intercept it.”
Finally, De Vrij spoke about what the squad did well and learnt from the game.
“We were good at the start and we played in their half trying to score. Maybe we need to pick up the pace and play faster and create more confusion for the opponents.”
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