Inter on right track, insists Conte after consecutive Champions League draws

By Guy Atkinson 28 October 2020 30
Inter on right track, insists Conte after consecutive Champions League draws

Antonio Conte said he was pleased with Inter's "intensity and attitude" and believes the Serie A side are heading in the right direction despite a disappointing 0-0 Champions League draw with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday. 

Inter thrashed Shakhtar 5-0 in a Europa League semi-final in August but Conte's men were frustrated at the Kiev Olympic Stadium.

Inter remain winless in Group B following last week's 2-2 draw at home to Borussia Monchengladbach and now face a double-header against stuttering LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

Nerazzurri head coach Conte was upbeat post-game, insisting he saw plenty from Inter to suggest they are on the right track. 

"I'm feeling positive because the team played with the right intensity and displayed the right attitude," Conte told reporters after Inter's first goalless Champions League draw since 2009.

"We took the game to our opponents and played as a real team, but we weren't very fortunate. We performed excellently in both phases, creating numerous problems for Shakhtar. 

"They are a very technical and quick side, so the lads really did do well. It's disappointing because we deserved to win, but performances like this make us aware that we're on the right track.

"We want to go for it wherever we play without focusing on the strength of the opponents we're up against."

Inter did enough to win the contest, forcing Anatolii Trubin into four saves, hitting the frame of the goal twice and missing a glorious chance through Lautaro Martinez. In the end, though, Shakhtar – who had just 41 per cent of possession - held on. 

The result means Inter have now won just one of their previous five games, but Conte maintained he is happy with the progress his team are making.

"We've been working together for a year and the team have acquired knowledge, gaining self-confidence in the process," he added. 

"Now, we defend from the front and press all over the pitch, leaving no time for our opponents to play. We didn't sit back waiting to hit Shakhtar on the counter so I can't be anything but satisfied. 

"We gave nothing away and took the game to them. There's disappointment because we created a lot of chances, but I can't really criticise the lads because it was our fourth match in 10 days and we began this cycle with eight players missing. 

"We're holding our ground in every respect. Now, we'll turn our attentions to the league and Parma, after which we'll prepare for our Champions League match against Real Madrid."

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