Antonio Conte is relishing the “enthusiasm and unity” of the Inter squad, but he’d be “extremely disappointed” to see the intensity drop with SPAL.
It kicks off at San Siro on Sunday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“SPAL use the same 3-5-2 system as us and adopt many of the same tactical situations that we do,” said Conte in his press conference.
“They have a fine coach in Leonardo Semplici and we’ll have to be very careful, because after important games like Slavia Prague, it’s inevitable some sense of relaxation can set in. That absolutely must not happen and I’d be extremely disappointed if that were to happen.
“Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku aren’t the same strikers who started the season. They are both atypical modern strikers, as they can be a centre-forward or a support striker, they work hard for their teammates and are really developing an understanding with each other.
“There is great unity within the team, whether they are playing or in the stands. The medical staff, the kit staff, all of them are united and get along, which is very important. There is a positive atmosphere with great shared trust throughout the group.
“Sebastiano Esposito is not just a kid, he’s a football player in every sense and now one of the four strikers we have at our disposal. I have full faith in him, but I am taking it one game at a time.”
Conte was asked if Lautaro could be rested, seeing as he is one yellow card away from a ban and the next test is a showdown with Roma.
“There is nothing to be taken for granted in football. SPAL are coming to San Siro fired up and eager to stop us during a favourable moment. I will choose the best line-up for this game, as I chose the best line-up for every other match.
“We have only one objective, which is to get three points and put that fuel in the tank. If the fans think SPAL are meant to be a walk in the park, they have made a huge mistake.”
Inter are on the verge of achieving their best ever start to a Serie A season, as this club has never managed to win 12 of the first 14 games.
“The good thing about this season is that even the games we didn’t win, and those we lost, we always faced our opponents with heads held high and fought all the way. That is important. We must have enthusiasm, but not foolishness. We earned results sometimes because we wanted it more than the other team.”
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