Friday April 2 2021
Conte: 'Inter must pick up where we left off'

Antonio Conte wants Inter to ‘pick up where we left off’ against Bologna and was happy to have recovered those who were out with COVID. ‘They are all needed’.

The Nerazzurri prepare for a trip to Renato Dall’Ara on Saturday and Conte pointed out that it’s complicated to prepare for the first game after the international break.

“After the national break, it’s never easy,” Conte said at a press conference. “But we must pick up where we left off.

“We shouldn’t speak out of turn, just need to keep quiet and move on.”

Samir Handanovic, Matias Vecino and Stefan de Vrij have recovered from coronavirus and Conte said he hopes to have Danilo D’Ambrosio back as soon as possible.

“During that period, the staff worked with them,” he confirmed. “We hope to have D’Ambrosio again soon, we need everyone.

Due to the postponed match against Sassuolo and the international break, Inter return to action 20 days after their last encounter.

“The calendar is tight,” he said. “First Bologna, then we recover Sassuolo on Wednesday, April 7, before we have another League game the weekend after.

“We have three games in nine days, we must be careful, right from the start. Bologna are an excellent team, [Sinisa] Mihajlovic is a very good coach.

“They play aggressive football. We are preparing as quickly as possible.”

Inter target their ninth consecutive win in a row and to maintain the gap at the top of the standings.

“As I have always said,” Conte continued. “We need to give stability and continuity to the results.

“We have been good at doing this during this run, and we always got there with hard work.

“We’ll try not to stop and we always aim to keep improving, eliminating defects and enhancing our qualities.

“There must always be pressure in a team that are used to live these situations. You need to face them in the right way.

“I know it’s the first time for many, but we must only think of ourselves, without looking at the others.”

The coronavirus crisis has eased at the Beneamata and Conte admitted they could have ‘managed some situations better’.

“It’s difficult to make considerations,” he said. “Perhaps – in hindsight – we could have managed some situations better, but we know that COVID exists.

“It has been massacring us for a year, and the world of football has decided to live with it just like everyone else in everyday life.

“The hope is that everything can be resolved as soon as possible with vaccination.

“Handanovic was immediately negative, so he is the one who recovered fastest. Vecino has returned to training for three days, he’s in a good condition too.

“De Vrij had his first training yesterday. During that period the staff worked with them from home, in order to keep them in excellent condition, those who have had COVID will inevitably have some aftermath.

“They all serve, we need everyone.”

 And among them there’s also Stefano Sensi, who was injured for a long time and only started once in the League this year.

He returned to the starting line-up with Italy during the World Cup Qualifiers and scored against Lithuania.

“I’m very happy for Stefano, especially on a psychological level,” Conte added. “It’s important to unlock, for him and therefore also for us.

“I certainly have resources and I try to exploit them well and with the right balance and choices.

“Sometimes they agree with me, others not. I train alle the players as if they all had to play, they are all ready.”