Inter coach Antonio Conte aims to ‘confirm the credibility gained’ but believes 2020-21 will be ‘much more difficult’ for the Nerazzurri.
Conte helped the Beneamata to second in Serie A, the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and finished runners-up in the Europa League, leading to a shorter preparation period ahead of the new campaign.
But the coach revealed he has seen ‘great attitude and desire’ from the players at Appiano and vows to be ready when they host Fiorentina on Saturday.
“We have certainly worked very well, and I’m satisfied with these three weeks we had to prepare for the season,” Conte said at a press conference.
“We were one of the last teams to finish, in these weeks we have worked well and I’m very satisfied with the attitude and desire shown by the players.
“We are ready to start the season. It will certainly be a difficult championship in many ways. Both for how we have finished and how we are starting, we all hope that we can improve.
“As for the ambitions, they must be to confirm the credibility gained last year, nationally and internationally, since we reached the Europa League Final. We always try to do our best.”
Conte has been working hard on the transfer market to close the gap up to Juventus and believes Inter have chosen the right strategy, in perfect harmony with the managers and owners.
“Talking about experience, [Arturo] Vidal and [Aleksandar] Kolarov are players who can bring it,” he said.
“Hakimi is 21 years old and has embarked on a career that will certainly be important. We are in total agreement with the club and have evaluated and chosen a strategy, always taking into account what the owners said, regarding the particular situation all the clubs are going through.
“As [CEO Beppe] Marotta said, we are trying to seize the opportunities, taking into account what the owners told us.
“We are working in total harmony, knowing that we want to consolidate the credibility gained. Last year, Inter scored 82 points in Serie A. We have achieved various results that demonstrate a newfound credibility.
“This must give us strength and courage; it must make us understand the path we have taken is the right one.
“There’s a path and along the way, we also face particular situations, such as the pandemic. We are implementing a strategy accepted by all, trying to do what’s best for Inter.”
Conte has been in a good mood in recent weeks and was asked if the ‘misunderstanding’ between him and the hierarchy has been resolved.
“I wouldn’t talk about misunderstandings. There have been comparisons, views, sometimes even different ones, but I think that in all good families, everyone should present their reasons, right or wrong,” he said.
“There have always been honest and loyal comparisons with those who work for the club, so on my part there’s great serenity and desire to continue doing what I do best: working with the players.
“We are ready to start a new season, knowing that it will be much more difficult than last year. But we are ready."
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