Saturday November 2 2019
Conte: 'Inter showed inner strength'

Antonio Conte praised Inter for “showing great inner strength to fight back” and beat Bologna, while describing his “atypical” strikers.

A brace from Romelu Lukaku, including a stoppage-time penalty, turned around the Roberto Soriano opener for a 2-1 victory at the Dall’Ara.

“There was a great response from the team. The way we conceded the goal, with basically an own goal deflected off De Vrij, could’ve killed us. It could’ve killed us,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“Instead, the lads showed great inner strength to fight back and turn it around. It’s an excellent sign, because it can be too easy to judge when things are going well. A team that reacts to difficulties and turns them into a victory is a great sign.

“We need to focus on ourselves and not think about what anyone else is doing. We must work on improving ourselves and sending these signs to above all our fans.

“In the press conference, I said our objective was to become credible, to emerge with a shirt soaked through with sweat. We are achieving that.

“Now we go back to Milan, get some sleep and tomorrow morning start preparing for Borussia Dortmund. We hope to leave there with no regrets.”

Inter have built their success on the partnership between Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku.

“I had studied Lautaro a little before coming here. He is a centre-forward, but at the same time also a second striker, so he’s atypical.

“Lukaku is an unusual striker too, because he has this physicality of a centre-forward, but if you give him space to run into, he is devastatingly fast.

“I above all am happy with the work they are doing off the ball. Behind them, we have Sebastiano Esposito, who might just be 17 years old, but trust me, if he continues with this humility then he can have a great future.”

Conte was asked if winning at Inter is the greatest challenge of his management career.

“I knew that this was a very, very difficult challenge for me in many ways. I like to seek out something tough, as my history speaks for itself, I always arrived in critical moments for top clubs and with hard work took them back to where they deserved.

“I did that at Juventus and at Chelsea, I hope with hard work to do the same at Inter. What makes me happy is working with a group of great lads who give everything and today they didn’t let their heads drop or negative thinking to set in.

“So regardless of the final result, we can be proud of what we’re achieving this season.”

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