Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte has berated the second-place spot on the log after his side disappointing goalless draw against Fiorentina in her latest Serie A encounter.
The Milan team was seen as a title contender before the beginning of the 2019/2020 season, while they started well leading Juventus the champions at one point in the season, the Nerazzurri fell apart when it mattered most losing grip of the title race.
Yesterday’s stalemate against Fiorentina sees Inter dropped to third on the log, one point behind Atalanta and eight points adrift of Juventus which almost automatically ends their title hopes but Conte is not disturbed by his team third-place position.
“Second place is meaningless in my eyes, it’s just first for losers,” noted Conte. “Some settle for that, but not me. I don’t want my players to settle for that either, Conte said.
The former Chelsea manager praised his team character, saying they were only unlucky in the game.
“It was a good game, we played with the right intensity and passing moves, but were unlucky when hitting the woodwork twice.
“I can’t complain when the lads put in this desire and we even risked losing it at the end through our sheer desire to win. Fiorentina deserves credit for a very good defensive performance.
“When you drop points, there are always things that have gone wrong. We are trying to develop a killer instinct and I am happy if my players are disappointed at this draw because that shows my work is bearing fruit.
“Every game is a test to prove that we are growing. I think this team hasn’t reaped what it sowed this season, aside from securing a Champions League place with several rounds to spare.”
Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona put up a disappointing display when introduced into the game in the second half.
Many believe Martinez is already thinking of a move to the Blaugrana, Conte has backed his player and dismissed the notion.
“We are talking about a 22-year-old who didn’t really play much last season. He has made his mark this term, but still has a journey ahead of him, a growth process that he needs to go through. Lautaro is not the complete package yet.
“He can alternative positive and negative moments, as is natural for someone of his age. The rumours around him are insulting his intelligence and trying to stir up trouble, claiming he is thinking about another club.” The Nerazurri’s gaffer concluded.