Tuesday November 24 2020
Conte: 'Real represent a Final'

Inter coach Antonio Conte said the match against Real Madrid will ‘represent a Final’ for the Nerazzurri. ‘We must win’.

Conte’s men have only picked up two points in three Champions League games so far this term and the coach stressed the Beneamata must win when Real Madrid visit Milan.

“For us it represents a Final,” Conte said at a press conference. “After the defeat in Madrid and the two previous draws we don’t have many ways out.

“It will be a very difficult match, we know what team Real are, even recent history says so. If we want, we can do it and in the last match we proved it.

“We can play well, with humility and attention. We must win.”

Inter are bottom in Group B and Conte said he must take responsibility if the team are unable to take the next qualitative leap.

“We have to do it, a lot is expected from us. In the end, the facts remain, and everyone must take responsibility. Me, the squad, the club.

“If it has not yet happened, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. We must review some things.”

Inter have started the new season different from Conte’s first at San Siro, as they are struggling to keep clean sheets and aren’t scoring enough.

“This year, a lot of teams arrive very closed and it often becomes difficult to find a way to the goal,” Conte added.

“For this reason, our possession has increased a lot, but we are certainly conceding much more. If we want to be competitive, we have to raise our level.

“Attention, competitive aggressiveness, hunger. Everything, everyone.”

Real Madrid are struggling with a host of key members out, but Conte believes Inter must expect to face a ‘strong squad’ on Wednesday.

“I don’t think Real can cry from that point of view,” he said. “They still have a complete and strong squad, with players from Real Madrid.

“The fact that there’s talk of absentees makes me smile.”

Conte said he ‘noticed already last year’ that he would receive a lot of criticism at Inter and claimed they must channel the critique and take ‘strength’ from it.

“It’s a fact, it tends to be negative regardless,” he said. “We knew it, I already noticed last year.

“Mentally, I was very prepared, others may not be. When you play in teams with this blazon, you must know that either it’s all good or all bad.

“There’s nothing in the middle, but this must give us even more strength. The only way not to be fed to speculation and criticism, the nonsense, is to stay united and compact.

“Otherwise we must go to medium-low teams and live a more peaceful life.”

When Inter bounced back to win 4-2 against Torino in Serie A, Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez were all three on the pitch at the same time in the second half.

Conte admitted ‘it could be a solution’ also for the future.

“It could be a solution during the match, or if you play against teams of a lower level than Inter,” he said. “We are already quite attacking, with wingers and midfielders going forward.

“I think seeing it’s difficult to play three forwards and not very bearable for the team.”

For the decisive game against Real Madrid at San Siro, Conte expects a determined Inter and claimed Group B is the ‘most difficult’ in the Champions League.

“Trying to win and get an excellent result,” he said. “I don’t think there are other solutions, other ways.

“Three games remain and I think we must at least score seven points to qualify, if not win them all.

“I still think ours is the most difficult group, we deserved more points given our performances, but if we don’t have them, it means that we must all look each other in the eyes and try to improve further.”