Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte has admitted he is “a little worried” about the threat of injuries due to a busy schedule and a lack of squad options.
Conte has made an impressive start to life at the San Siro, leading Inter to second place in Serie A, just one point behind leaders Juventus.
How has Conte started at Inter? Five things to know…
- Conte took over at Inter in the summer and has overseen an impressive start to the season.
- The Nerazzurri have won seven of their nine Serie A games, drawing one and losing one.
- Inter drew for the first time on Saturday, missing the chance to go top above Juventus.
- They sit second in their Champions League group with four points from three matches.
- But Conte is worried about injuries to his thin squad amid a busy schedule.
Inter have lost just one of their nine league games so far this season and were unfortunate to leave the Camp Nou with nothing in the Champions League following a 2-1 defeat to Barcelona.
But Conte is already seeing concerning signs following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Parma, a game in which Inter were leading only to find themselves battling for a point after the visitors staged a quick comeback.
Injuries to Alexis Sanchez, Stefan de Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah have left Inter with a lack of depth, and Conte has voiced his frustration at the amount of games his thin squad has played over a short period of late.
“I can’t ask for much more from these lads, because it’s our third game in six days and we practically always have the same XI due to various problems. I am not happy with this at all,” Conte said.
“For example, Stefan de Vrij had a problem with his adductors, Kwadwo Asamoah with his knee. It becomes difficult to go out there and play every three days with a squad down to the bare bones. Now we’ve got Brescia coming up in three days, in which we again need the same players to start for the fourth game running.
“It is exhausting on both a mental and physical level. We have to make do right now, but we as a club need to evaluate and understand where we can improve.
“I am a little worried, seeing as there are another four games before the next break. We must try to get the best out of the situation and that is what we are trying to do. Inevitably, we also need to look to young players like Alessandro Bastoni or Sebastiano Esposito. We’re rushing them through the growth process and that is dangerous.
“I am a little worried, because we keep using the same players and that increases the odds of an injury. It’s only right that with the club we evaluate where we can improve. Serie A and the Champions League are tournaments that take a lot out of you. Inter are an important club and we cannot afford to simply participate in these competitions.”
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Inter could have jumped above Juventus into top spot had they won, with Maurizio Sarri’s men only managing a draw with Lecce.
But Conte insists his side are only focusing on their own results, not those of Juventus.
He added: “We don’t need to look at other results, only our own.
“The first half was not good, Parma did well and we made it easier for them. Just look at the two goals. However, we did much better after the break and at the end of the day deserved to win.”