Antonio Conte has said Inter cannot be upset at falling behind Atalanta with their draw against Fiorentina. ‘Second place is just first for losers.’
The 0-0 result at San Siro this evening means Juventus can clinch their ninth consecutive Serie A title tomorrow night with a win against Udinese.
“It was a good game, we played with the right intensity and passing moves, but were unlucky when hitting the woodwork twice,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.
“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 deserve 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.”
Meanwhile, Atalanta have leapfrogged Inter into second place.
“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.”
Lautaro Martinez was again disappointing off the bench this evening, but the coach had a message for those who continue to ask about Barcelona’s interest.
“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.”