Saturday October 17 2020
Conte: 'Inter not clinical enough'

Antonio Conte insists Inter ‘played well and had many chances’ to equalise in the Derby della Madonnina, defending Aleksandar Kolarov’s centre-back role.

The Nerazzurri suffered their first defeat of the season, as Romelu Lukaku pulled one back, but was ultimately unable to get the equaliser after an early Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace.

“This is not the time to look at situations outside football,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia when shrugging off the number of players missing due to COVID-19.

“I think we played very well, created many situations to score goals, in some cases were unlucky, and it’s disappointing because the lads certainly put the effort in and believed they could win.

“We were distracted and made errors on their two goals, still had the chances to equalise, but Milan won and so we congratulate them.

“Every match we seem to create many, many scoring opportunities, so need to be more cool-headed and clinical in front of goal. At the same time, I cannot complain about their attitude, as we tried everything to at least get the equaliser.”

Despite the absentees, Christian Eriksen was again on the bench, while Aleksandar Kolarov struggled at centre-back.

“Ivan Perisic is working very hard on his defending and I am pleased with him as the fifth wing-back. Achraf Hakimi is doing well too, but there needs to be a balance and we must maintain it.

“The two goals were entirely avoidable, that’s for sure. At this moment, I feel this is the best role for Kolarov. He did it for Roma, he did it for Serbia and at this stage of his career, it’s the smartest position for him.

“We have two very attacking wing-backs and two pure strikers, so balance is crucial. And yet some still complain because they want a trequartista in there as well.

“We played, we created chances, and making more of them would’ve seen people talk about an impressive Inter in every respect. Instead, we are talking about a defeat and worst of all a defeat in the derby.”

Should Inter have kept an experienced centre-back like Diego Godin?

“Every decision was evaluated by the club and it’s not up to me. What I must do is to try to get the best out of the players I am given, and I think that’s something I do very well. If you want to talk about other matters, you can ask other people about them.”