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Inter's Conte on Scudetto race: "We are in a very good position"

Fri 05 March 2021 | 10:03

Inter boss Antonio Conte insists he is 'a a democratic coach' and anxious to compete for places inside his Inter crew, prodding Alexis Sanchez and Achraf Hakimi to give more, and will not stow away from Scudetto talk.

The Nerazzurri won against Parma 2-1 at the Stadio Tardini, gone six points clear of Milan at the top of the

Serie A

table with their 6th back-to-back victory. 

Conte realized the hardships of the situation, which is why the solitary player he rested from his regular lineup was

Lautaro Martinez

“I don’t think it was an ugly game, as we scored two goals and had many other chances to extend our lead,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

“Having said that, we know Parma always caused us problems, they have strong players and an excellent coach. They were trying to draw us out and then split us in two with knock-downs from Juraj Kucka.

“Parma deserve compliments and I think they have everything required to save themselves this season. I said that Genoa and Parma would be the test of our maturity, because we needed to sharpen our talons and show determination in every fixture, not just the big ones.

“We conceded an avoidable goal, but other than that, I don’t think Samir Handanovic made many big saves.”

In the last minutes, Conte snatched

Achraf Hakimi

by the side of the head, yelled at him, and slapped him on the rear of the head, every last bit of it an energetic congrats. 

“He was fantastic in stoppages, he went to press the Parma player and push him out of a danger zone, so I wanted to grab him by the head and say Bravo! These players are working really hard, showing application and learning the lessons.”

Similarly, as

Christian Eriksen

figured out how to outperform Arturo Vidal in the hierarchy, Conte is empowering rivalry for playing time. 

“I think that I am a very democratic coach, so I give nothing for free and I am patient to a certain degree. We have a team and the individual comes after that, so everyone has to think in that sense if they want to get along with me.

“I’ve found a group of lads who are eager and willing to fight for each other. Hakimi is an example, one of many, as at times he would attack and forget to defend, so he cooled his heels on the bench for a few games. He learned.

“Darmian replaced Hakimi last week and I think he was Man of the Match against Genoa.”

Alexis Sanchez supplanted Lautaro Martinez tonight and scored his first brace for Inter Milan. 

“As I said, he is in the best condition we’ve ever seen him at the moment. We were patient with him too. He knows only hard work will take him to a certain level, and now Romelu and Lautaro know that Sanchez is right behind them too. It’s important for us to create these situations with competition for places.

“Don’t forget for a year-and-a-half we had to carry on with just Lukaku and Lautaro, nobody else. We had Sebastiano Esposito last season, he’s now in Serie B at Venezia.

“I’ve never had any choices to make here. I just had to pray and hope nobody got injured. Now I actually have some choice and it’s a wonderful feeling.

“The players know I am democratic, I choose who deserves it and they all feel they are involved in this project.”

Inter are six points clear of Milan, with Juventus considerably further back, so would they say they are fleeing with the

Scudetto

?

“We are in a very good position, certainly a vast improvement from last season, but we also know every game is a battle and we can drop points against anyone. That is why we must never underestimate any opponent.

“We want to do our best. If our best means we are here at the end of the season, we’ll be very happy and proud, because it’ll mean we’ve made incredible leaps forward in a very short period of time.”

 

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