Home Interview Conte: “We’ll have to play a match full of character.”

Conte: “We’ll have to play a match full of character.”

Image via Clément Bucco-Lechat

Ahead of the Champions League match against Dortmund, Antonio Conte answered questions from journalists during a pre-match press conference:

“The game against Dortmund is an important one. In our group, Barcelona have taken control and look set to progress. This is what we’re playing for. We did well to win at home against Borussia Dortmund. We are fully aware of the difficulties there will be because they are a strong and experienced side who have been in the Champions League for many years. We’ll need to be fully alert.”

“It’s an important step. The atmosphere will be loud and electric, Dortmund’s crowd know how to create an environment which quite literally pushes the home team on. This is another reason why we’ll have to play a match full of character. We’re coming here aiming to win the game. I think that a step forward in our growth process will be made by going for it and implementing what we’ve prepared and studied.”

“Anyone who expects a defensive game from us is mistaken. We’ll show up to play the game we know, taking the game to the opposition. If we play on the back foot that will be down to Borussia Dortmund. Whether we’re home or away doesn’t affect our style of play, we know our strengths but we’re also aware of our weaknesses and we’re working to improve them.”

“We’re almost at the end of a mini-cycle of seven games: we finished the last one off with two defeats to Barcelona and Juventus after two excellent performances. The Champions League gives you the drive you need even if you’re running low on fuel. We’ve worked so hard to be ready for these kinds of games.”

On the conditions of certain players:

“Sensi is back fit. He’s had three full training sessions back with the squad, we’ll see how and when to use him best. D’Ambrosio, Asamoah and Gagliardini are all unavailable.”

Finally a word on the topic of racism:

“We have to confront all forms of discrimination in a severe and unforgiving manner, the ignorant people who are to blame have to be punished. It’s 2019, it’s ridiculous that we’re still talking about racism.”