July 21, 2020 / 5:48 PM / 23 days ago

Conte says Serie A getting more competitive despite Juve dominance

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - AS Roma v Inter Milan - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - July 19, 2020 Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte reacts, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

MILAN (Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte believes that Serie A is becoming more competitive — even though Juventus are poised to win it for the ninth season in a row.

“Without a doubt, Serie A has become a more competitive league: one need only look at the numbers of the other teams,” Conte told reporters. “It’ll keep getting tougher, and the level of competition has really stepped up.”

“Juventus are still the best, and if you want to improve, you have to look at the best. Inter are trying to improve, our target is to be in the Champions League every year and become more competitive so we can try to win the Serie A title.”

Conte also said that second-placed Inter, already guaranteed a top-four finish and a place in the Champions League, had progressed this season, their first under his leadership, despite faltering in crucial matches.

He remembered that in the last two seasons, Inter had only qualified for the Champions League in their final match.

“One of the key things to point out is that we’ve been in the top four from start to finish. It’s where a club like Inter belongs,” he said.

“It’s great that we’ve achieved this because it was one of the club’s main requests: to improve our results in comparison to previous seasons and to steady the ship so that things aren’t so hectic at the end of the season.”

Inter, who host Fiorentina on Wednesday, are eight points behind Juventus with four matches left to play but Conte said he would rest some players, suggesting he had lost hope of catching the Turin side.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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