Friday October 16 2020
Conte: 'An endless run of vital games'

Inter coach Antonio Conte played down the importance of the Milan derby, insisting ‘every single win is worth three points’ but couldn’t confirm if Alexis Sanchez will be ready.

The Beneamata face Stefano Pioli’s Milan at San Siro tomorrow and Conte said the Derby della Madonnina ‘brings greater difficulties’ but added that there’s an ‘endless’ run of crucial games.

“We try to do well in all matches, every single win is always worth three points,” Conte said at a press conference.

“The derby brings greater difficulties; we face a strong Milan who are doing well in the wake of last season’s final months.

“Another strong team like Lazio, but we want to continue our path. We are only at the beginning.

“The games of importance are endless between now and the end of the season. In any case, I always expect growth, especially from the point of view of responsibility.

“An important aspect to take another step.”

The match comes only days after the Nerazzurri stars returned from international duty and Conte still doesn’t know if Chile international Sanchez will have recovered from a muscle problem.

“The last to return were the Chileans last night but if you do well in the national team, you arrive in a great mood.

“We want to make ourselves available and prepare for the match in a good way.”

“Had I had the possibility to choose, I would have preferred to have an extra day. We know that there’s also international calendars to respect and we will adapt.

“We will prepare for it today; we have no other way. We will try to do our best, without forcing too much from the players who have just returned.

“Sanchez has muscle fatigue, we will do some evaluations today during the training sessions and pay great attention, considering that we will play seven games in three weeks.

“If he will be available it’s because he will have given guarantees, taking responsibility. Otherwise, I prefer to wait for the next game, but I don’t exclude anything.”

The many cases of coronavirus in the Inter squad will impact Conte’s line-up on Saturday, but the former Juventus coach insists the Nerazzurri are prepared to ‘be collaborative and proactive’ when entering a ‘new complicated phase’.

“We must all be collaborative and proactive, accepting the current situation,” the coach said. “Sport in general, the whole country is accepting it.

“We need patience and availability, we went through a very hard period, I was sorry we forgot about it too quickly.

“A new complicated phase seems to be returning, so we need unity to face this situation in the best possible way and move on.

“Stopping would be disastrous. It’s useless to complain about absent people or those who are most penalised."

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