Antonio Conte insists it is ‘gratifying’ that Inter are seen as Scudetto contenders and he’s not too upset to leak goals with Benevento. ‘I enjoy watching this team.’
Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace, with Roberto Gagliardini, Achraf Hakimi and Lautaro Martinez on target in the 5-2 result.
“The most satisfying thing for a coach is to see that when the players change, the general approach and performance remains the same,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“I realise that if we hadn’t won and I made seven changes to the starting XI, I would’ve been criticised for changing too much. This is the life of a coach.
“It’s important to get the new players settled in as quickly as possible and that also means taking some risks.”
Inter scored nine goals in two games, but also conceded five, an unusual trait for a Conte side.
“This is a team that attacks, creates many chances, so inevitably we leave something at the back. We conceded two goals again today, so need to have a look at the balance, but I enjoy myself watching this Inter play.
“We are building on a whole year of foundations, that is the important thing. We can also change between a playmaker and a trequartista even during a match, which makes us more unpredictable in attack.
“The lads deserve praise, let’s not forget Benevento were coming off a victory away to Sampdoria. We had the right approach, but there’s work to be done and we’ll do it.”
Arturo Vidal was hobbling a little as he walked off during the second half.
“Arturo got a knock to his thigh, so with the result looking good and he seemed to be struggling with the bruise, I preferred not to risk leaving him out there. I’m not worried, he’s a warrior and always ready for battle.”
Conte was questioned on asking for prudence when it comes to Scudetto talk, but the coach took issue with the wording.
“I didn’t ask anyone for anything, don’t put words in my mouth or invent things. We should be enthusiastic that people see us as contenders, because that means they have respect for the club, the players and our work. It should be satisfying, because people see potential in us.
“Don’t forget, for many years Inter were considered outsiders. The fact we are seen differently now means Inter regained credibility. That will also make it more difficult, because opponents will raise their game against us, but it’s gratifying.”
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