Antonio Conte complains Inter were ‘unbalanced at times’ in their 4-3 thriller with Fiorentina, but also admits he must ‘learn to enjoy the process’ more.
The coach said he didn’t want the ‘Pazza Inter’ reputation, but it was out in full force as they were trailing twice at San Siro, scoring two goals at the 87th and 89th minutes to win 4-3.
“The three points are certainly important, but it’s only fair to evaluate the entire performance too,” Conte told DAZN.
“The positive is that we scored four goals and created many chances to get more. I think their goalkeeper (Bartlomiej) Dragowski did really well. We attacked in numbers and created problems for Fiorentina, but at the same time we weren’t focused enough to deal with their counter-attacks.
“The lads know we need to improve on this, as we must attack and defend in numbers. Balance is the key to everything, we were unbalanced at times this evening and paid for those mistakes.
“We must try to defend by going forward, not sitting back on our goalkeeper’s lap. We want to press the opposition. It was (Aleksandar) Kolarov’s first game, (Danilo) D’Ambrosio was playing as a centre-back, but the whole team has to work the right way.
“I was impressed by the way we attacked today, even if I think we had a few too many players going forward and that left some gaps for Fiorentina to counter into. We need to pay closer attention.”
Christian Eriksen started in the trequartista role, but is still struggling to fit into Conte’s tactics or make much of a difference in Serie A.
“We work with Christian in the same way as we do with the others. We try to get them all into the best condition. I think Eriksen has improved his intensity since he first arrived. He is playing in his ideal role, a trequartista behind two strikers.
“I think he had a good game. We know he has some qualities and we try to bring those out. Sometimes it happens straight away, sometimes it takes a little while, so I have faith and patience. He is a good lad and works hard for the team.
“I hope a spark will definitively light him up and allow him to find his way.”
Conte almost walked out over the summer, citing disagreements with the club and directors, but now admits he has to change too.
“After my first year at Inter, I realised the focus is so much on the results that people forget there’s a journey we need to go through. I believe the journey is important and even defeats are teachable moments, so must be relished.
“A coach should enjoy the process more and I need to work on that. I sometimes get so angry at a defeat or a setback that I forget to enjoy the process, so I’m working on that.”
Inter started the campaign as potential Scudetto favourites, even more so than Juventus under new coach Andrea Pirlo.
“Last season, I think we gained credibility in Italy, finishing second in Serie A with many points and positive elements. We also, and above all, gained credibility on the international level, as Inter need to be in European Finals,” concluded Conte.
“We’ve got to keep working on being credible, giving our fans joy, even in games like tonight where they never give up. The lads showed such hunger, heart, desire and I am proud of them.”