Home Interview Antonio Conte: “Playing against Atalanta isn’t easy for any team.”

Antonio Conte: “Playing against Atalanta isn’t easy for any team.”

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Inter’s matchday seven fixture against Atalanta on Sunday ended in a 1-1 draw, with Miranchuk cancelling out Lautaro’s second-half opener in the 79th minute.

Here is what Antonio Conte had to say after the match:

How important was this draw and was it the reaction you wanted after the defeat in Madrid?
“We put in a good performance in Madrid, all that was missing was the result. So I was not expecting a particular reaction, I liked the performance. Today, we did the same against a strong side, a team that are tough to play against. I think it was also difficult for them to play against us. We could have closed the game out with a second, and perhaps we were lacking the killer instinct. They then managed to get the equaliser.

“We started this cycle with many players testing positive for COVID and with some injuries. These lads haven’t had the chance to rest and they will now head off for the latest round of international fixtures, so this season is tough. We have looked to manage it in the best way possible, and now we can only hope nothing happens during the break. Last time around, Sanchez returned injured and some players had knocks. We’re crossing our fingers because another intense cycle awaits where we’ll play ten matches and once every three days right up until Christmas.”

What was missing up front in terms of potentially scoring a second?
“You must take into account the skill of the opposition. Playing against Atalanta isn’t easy for any team. Their defenders are used to one on ones, and they are very physical.

“A lot is expected of us because we’ve become a well-respected team in the space of a year. We played at their tempo, and at times above that.”

How important is the role of trequartista for this Inter team?
“Today, we had Barella playing a sort of disguised trequartista role, we make decisions based on the characteristics of the players who take to the pitch. There are some players who have more license to attack and get on the ball in between the lines, while there are those like Nicolò, who prefers to start centre-right. We try to get the best out of our different qualities.”

In the final 15 minutes, when Atalanta switched to four at the back, Inter struggled to win back the ball…
“Game plans went out of the window somewhat when Atalanta started to do everything to get back into it. However, these are situations that the players need to learn to adjust to. After their goal, we veered off course, and this is something that shouldn’t happen. We tend to implement what we’ve prepared, but we need to be better in managing certain moments by being able to adapt.”