Nicolò Barella admits beating Juventus gave Inter ‘belief’ in themselves and he denies accusations of being defensive. ‘We are super organised and know there are players who can get a goal at any moment.’
This weekend could crown Inter the Champions of Italy, if they beat Crotone and Atalanta fail to get the better of Sassuolo.
“Fatigue is starting to tell, as it’s been a tough year and we pretty much never stopped. The objective is more important than everything, though, and it is stronger than fatigue,” Barella told Sky Sport Italia.
This is Conte’s second season at Inter and he came close to a trophy in his first campaign too.
“The Scudetto was our objective last season, but we didn’t get there. We also reached the Europa League Final. I won’t say it helped as such, but that defeat did act as further motivation and pushed us to do even better.”
Although the Nerazzurri are running away with the Scudetto, Conte’s style is still criticised in the media.
“People accuse us of being defensive. I think we are super-organised, we are solid and have a strong identity. We know there are players upfront who can get a goal at any moment, so we’re relaxed.
“The coach is the same, whether it’s a Cup final or a friendly, he has been like that from the first day. All we must do is follow his instructions.”
Barella has gone from strength to strength over the last two years and many want him to be the new Inter captain.
“I have improved as a player, certainly, as I’ve been training with these great champions. I used to get a bit ahead of myself, but I’ve studied from my teammates and learned to wait for the right opportunity rather than rush in.”
The Italy international was asked what elements he’d ‘steal’ from teammates Christian Eriksen and Marcelo Brozovic.
“From Eriksen I’d take his quality and elegance, as he can put the ball where he wants from one moment to the next. The rest of us are more dynamic and do the grunt work, while Brozo ensures we keep ticking along.”
The star forwards are undoubtedly Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.
“Romi is always an option to score even when we are struggling, while Lauti connects the midfield to the attack. I put the ball there, they take care of the rest, so I’m very fortunate in that sense.”
Barella has been known to find the net a few times too, including in the showdown with Juventus.
“The goal against Juventus, that whole game really, gave us the belief that we were strong. We already knew to a degree, but it really convinced us that we could beat the strongest team that had dominated for so many years.”