Antonio Conte emphasized that Inter is still in the hunt for the Scudetto, insisting on his side aiming to “achieve something exceptional” in Serie A. Inter, third in the standings, returned to the league action after the coronavirus-enforced break on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Sampdoria.
In a superb first half, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez were on target, both players capping fine team move as Inter regrouped at the hands of Napoli from their Coppa Italia semi-final exit.
The head coach Conte in a news conference said: “We had no choice but to get the win this evening so we could close the gap to six points. We fuel the expectation that we can accomplish something exceptional. We should indeed have secured it earlier by making more of our chances, but then at the first Samp attempt, we conceded and got a little nervous. I repeat, it’s not a fitness issue, but when we have scoring opportunities and don’t take them, as happened with Napoli in the Coppa Italia, all it takes is one lucky ricochet and it’s all up for grabs again. I hope these games will help us to realize that we have to kill the opponent in a sporting sense and kill the game when we get the chance.”
Inter next meet on Wednesday with Sassuolo and Conte stressed that his side can not afford to take any game lightly.
“We are six points off the top with twelve runs to go. There’s no margin for error, while Lazio and Juventus may make the occasional mistake and get away with it. This is why we need the ferocity before the goal, so we can then relax on the ball with a good lead.”
Following their battle with Sassuolo, who sits 12th in Serie A, Inter then travels to Parma with even tougher fixtures to come in July against Roma and Napoli.
As they look to end the season with some silverware, Lukaku believes that every game is now “life or death” for Inter.