Inter’s intensity dipped at Lecce, prompting a disappointing and potentially costly Serie A draw and a warning from Antonio Conte.
Antonio Conte felt Inter were sluggish in a 1-1 draw at Lecce and warned the Nerazzurri cannot afford to dip below 200 kilometres per hour in their intensity.
Inter had the opportunity to return to the top of Serie A, at least until Juventus played later on Sunday, but toiled to a second successive league draw.
Substitute Alessandro Bastoni scored his first Nerazzurri goal to seemingly set the away side on course for a scrappy win 19 minutes from time, only for Marco Mancosu to hit back.
Conte was disappointed with the lack of vigour in his side’s display, claiming they are merely “a normal team” when playing at that level.
“The draw stems from the fact that we must always go at 200 [km] an hour,” he said.
“When someone is below that, we cannot afford it. Then the level of the team drops and it can happen that you draw a game that you should have taken three points from.
“We are not a team that manages to bring home the victory going at an average speed. We must always go to the maximum – we have done so in all the matches of the first half of the season.
“When we can’t get to the maximum, we are a normal team.”
Il pareggio tra Lecce e Inter attraverso le immagini
— Inter (@Inter) January 19, 2020
Conte was called out by Jose Mourinho earlier in the week amid the perception he had openly discussed Inter’s interest in Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta spoke about Eriksen on Sunday, but Conte was not willing to follow suit.
“This month is difficult to manage. I think I have been very clear – even if sometimes the things I say are then exploited,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about the market.
“That is for the club – I am the coach and I have to try to bring out the best in my players.”