Conte demands Inter improvement ahead of ‘special’ Milan derby
Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte has urged his side to keep improving as they prepare to face derby rivals AC Milan.
The Nerazzurri needed an added-time equaliser to snatch a point on Tuesday night in their opening match in Group F, which also contains Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.
Conte wants improvement on their return to the San Siro on Saturday – for what is technically an away game – in what will be the 171st Derby della Madonnina.
“In all of the games we try to put maximum effort and provide and excellent performance and follow our preparations. Sometimes we succeed at this, other times not so much,” Conte told the club website.
“What the guys do put in is a huge commitment. We know that we have a lot of work to do and to get better, this certainly doesn’t scare us.
“The eyes of the world are on this game. All derbies are special and this is no exception. Milan are a great side and we will prepare well as always. We will as always give it our all. We will give 100 per cent.”
Inter have won all three of their league games this season – the only team in Serie A to still boast a 100 per cent record – and have very real ambitions of finally being able to threaten the unprecedented dominance of Juventus.
Conte suggested that perhaps his team were a little complacent in their Champions League draw at home against Slavia Prague in midweek.
“Every game is important and has to be won, but each game has its pitfalls,” he said. “A win is always positive, it boosts morale and confidence and is good for positive energy.
“But it has to come about in the right way, we have to deserve the win. At times, wins mean you take your foot off the gas. We have areas to work on but I am not afraid of the challenge.”
AC Milan go into the clash seventh in the Serie A table after three games of the season, already three points adrift of their rivals.
Rossoneri head coach Marco Giampaolo thinks his side are the underdogs.
“Defeating Verona was an important step. The team is improving game after game,” he told the club website.
“Our goal is to win (against Inter). It’s important to play well and maintain our vision but at the same time we have to give the fans the results they aspire for.
“We need to be tactically sound. This is certainly one of the most difficult games we can play so we have to be out our very best.
“It is definitely an important game as it always has been. I am confident in my team, this game escapes any kind of prediction.
“I don’t care about being the underdogs. I want the team to do both phases well, I don’t take any media advantage from that point of view.”