September 25, 2021

‘We were left unprotected’ – Conte hits out at Inter management after finishing 2019-20 on a high

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The former Chelsea boss was not happy by what he saw as the lack of support from above when the side was struggling for results

Inter boss Antonio Conte had strong words for Inter’s management team after leading his side to second place in Serie A on the final weekend of the season. 

A roller-coaster debut campaign for the ex-Juventus and Chelsea boss at San Siro ended on a high, as goals from Danilo D’Ambrosio and Ashley Young led Inter to a 2-0 win away to Italian revelations Atalanta

That result confirmed the Nerazzurri’s position as runners-up ahead of the Bergamo side and brought them to within just a single point of champions Juventus at the season’s close. 

A late surge of three consecutive victories sent Inter flying up the Serie A standings, quelling criticism directed at Conte and his charges as they struggled for consistent form earlier in 2019-20. 

But the coach was in no mood to forget those barbs and the club’s failure to shield him and the squad as he revealed his frustrations. 

“The team has heart and pride, the desire to show that the criticisms we received were not correct,” he fired to Sky Sport after the final whistle. 

“So there will be time for everybody to make the right evaluations, because it was a very intense year, especially for me personally. It was not easy. 

“Neither my work nor the players’ work was acknowledged, I found little protection from the club when making comparisons. If you want to reduce the gap with Juventus you have to be strong on the pitch but above all off it. 

“We will have to talk to the president who is in China now. I don’t like people jumping on the bandwagon now, we have to be there for the good times and bad and this has not happened at Inter. I understand that, if you are weak, it is hard to protect your team and coach.” 

Conte went on to praise his charges for creating a siege mentality around San Siro when the team was struggling for results, but repeated his call for more assistance from the board. 

“We did well in isolating ourselves and creating a united front, despite the difficulties of having just three central midfielders or two forwards,” he added. 

“Until two weeks ago, inappropriate against me and the players were being said on television and you need protection in those cases. We have a lot of work to do off the field, so everyone will carry out their own evaluations. 

“What I have to say is not strong, I won’t mince my words: I was irritated to see some people jump on the wagon only now, when the players and I were left to deal with the bad times and we weren’t protected. But it’s fine, the league is over and now we have the Europa League

“I have a vision, I see the way we have to go if we want to move forward and I’m not talking about the transfer market, to make that clear.”