Conte: ‘Only one team wins the Scudetto’

Inter coach Antonio Conte says there are ‘many teams’ fighting to win the Scudetto ahead of the big match against Napoli. ‘Then, only one wins’.

The Nerazzurri are second, three points behind Milan in Serie A, but Napoli are breathing down their necks and could surpass them with a win at San Siro.

Conte said he’s not feeling the pressure of needing to win the Scudetto this term and pointed at the many teams with high ambitions.

“It makes me smile when I hear about the requirements of a championship,” Conte said at a press conference. “There are many teams, all of them start with the ambition to be protagonists and to try to win.

“But then, only one wins. And in the last nine years it has always been the same.”

Juventus are aiming for their 10th straight League title and before Conte’s men finished second last term, Napoli were the Old Lady’s main rivals.

And Conte said the tight table in Italy means the big games have more importance this term.

“In recent years, Napoli were Juventus’ antagonist for years, then last year we took their place,” Conte said.

“Our goal, like them, is to fight until the end. This year, at least for now, there’s more balance in the championship.

“The direct clashes are more important, both for the table but also the mentality. Winning them would make you feel stronger.

“It gives you certainties. The game is surely stimulating. It will be a parameter on which to make evaluations.”

Conte stressed the Nerazzurri must find their own balance and not be too downbeat after the recent setbacks.

“We must find a balance in ourselves, without going after the consideration of others,” he said. “Let’s not get too excited after wins and not too depressed after the setbacks.”

Tomorrow, he expects an entertaining game against an attacking Napoli side.

“We scored a lot last year too, but we concede more. The balance is fundamental. I’m getting used to the fact that whatever I say or do, is always seen in a negative way.

“I was calm in the press conference and I was blamed for the fact that I was no longer me, having given up.

“Now, you are telling me the opposite. Let’s say I have to find a middle ground.”

Achraf Hakimi is the only player who might recover for tomorrow’s game and the two Chileans Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez won’t play.

“For him [Hakimi] there’s a bigger chance. Sanchez has an adductor problem against Cagliari, and it will be difficult to recover.

“Vidal had a first-degree injury. He’s working well, he’s recovering. But it would be a risk to play him tomorrow, we could lose him for another month.

“We need to be patient.”