Saturday October 19 2019
Conte: 'Opportunity in a crisis'

Antonio Conte and Inter are “disappointed” at losing Alexis Sanchez, but wants to “see the opportunity in a crisis” against Sassuolo.

It kicks off on Sunday at 11.30 UK time (10.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.

After the break for international duty, which cost Alexis Sanchez a three-month lay-off and ankle surgery, leaving the Nerazzurri short-staffed upfront.

“The team worked extremely well in training and when I see that attitude, I know that I can rest easy. We can win or lose the game, but this is what reassures me,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“We are all very disappointed for Sanchez, as he was starting to make a real impact. He arrived with great enthusiasm and desire to challenge himself, working hard to be the Sanchez we all knew, only for this to happen. It’s sad, but injuries are part of football.

“It’s important now more than ever to realise everyone in the squad is a first choice, there are no back-ups or reserves, we just need different players at different times.”

Paulo Fonseca of Roma and Atalanta Coach Gian Piero Gasperini complained that their players had returned injured from international duty.

“It’s difficult for me, because I’ve been on the other side too,” noted former Italy CT Conte. “It’s inevitable that you see it from your point of view. I realised after that experience that you need space and every opportunity to work with the players, as from November to March, you don’t see them at all.”

Inter lost both their last two games by 2-1 scorelines to Barcelona in the Champions League and Juventus in Serie A.

“In every game, whether we won or not, there were good and bad elements, so we tried to objectively identify the situations where we need to improve.

“Sassuolo deserve a lot of credit for their achievements. It’s very sad to have lost patron Giorgio Squinzi, the architect of all this, but he set up a very strong club. It’s an important game for them, very important for us.”

With Alexis Sanchez out for three months, Inter asked the Italy Under-17 side to leave Sebastiano Esposito out of their squad.

“It’s only right to clarify this situation, as three weeks ago, Azzurri youth team co-ordinator Maurizio Viscidi came here and I told him I was very happy for Esposito to play in the Under-17 World Cup, as long as we had no major injuries.

“Esposito spent the whole pre-season with the main team, he is an important prospect for the present and future. He is to all intents and purposes an Inter player and I would not be afraid to play him. He shows me no signs of arrogance.

“The same goes for Alessandro Bastoni, who played all of last season at Parma. We must learn to see opportunity within a crisis.”

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