November 6, 2019 / 11:55 AM / 11 days ago

Furious Inter coach Conte lambasts club over poor planning

MILAN (Reuters) - Furious Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte has lambasted the directors of his club for poor planning after seeing his team squander a two-goal halftime lead and lost 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - Borussia Dortmund v Inter Milan - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - November 5, 2019 Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte reacts REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

The fiery coach repeated his complaint that his squad is too thin and players too inexperienced to battle on two fronts and also suggested that club directors should face the television cameras as well as himself.

“Some important mistakes have been made at the planning stage, we can’t play both the Champions League and Serie A with such a small squad,” said Conte after Tuesday’s match.

“I’m tired of saying the same things over and over again, perhaps they could come here over and say something. I hope that this will help them understand a few things.”

There was no immediate reaction from the club leadership.

Conte conceded that he felt like a broken record as he kept complaining about the crowded fixture list and explaining that Inter are still in the early stage of building a new team.

“They tell me that I should smile more on television,” he added. “But I always end up saying the same things, about the growth process, about taking it step by step.”

“The lads are giving everything and going at full pelt and I can’t ask them for more than that,” he said, before complaining about their lack of experience.

“We are talking about players who, apart from Diego Godin, have never won anything. Who do we turn to? Nicolo Barella who has come from Cagliari? Or (Stefano) Sensi, who came from Sassuolo?”

Conte made similar complaints when he was coach at Juventus, where he won three successive Serie A titles but struggled in the Champions League, famously saying that “you can’t eat at a 100 euro restaurant with a 10 euro note.”

His comments are likely to raise eyebrows as Inter spent more than 150 million euros (£129 million) on new signings during the transfer window. However, they also let a number of key players go including Mauro Icardi, their leading scorer for each of the last five seasons, and midfielder Radja Nainggolan.

Chinese-owned Inter, who have not won any major silverware since 2011, are second in Serie A, one point behind leaders Juventus. Tuesday’s defeat left them third in Champions League Group F, three points behind Borussia Dortmund.

“We need to keep a low profile,” added Conte. “Our position in Serie A should not allow us to forget our problems.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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