Antonio Conte defended his late substitutions after Inter were held to a 2-2 draw at Roma on Sunday.
The Nerazzurri looked set to secure three precious points in the battle between two title hopefuls at Stadio Olimpico, but Gianluca Mancini denied them with an equaliser after 86 minutes.
Lorenzo Pellegrini put Roma in front in the first half, but two goals in the space of seven minutes after the break from Milan Skriniar and Achraf Hakimi gave Inter a deserved lead.
Conte withdrew Hakimi, Lautaro Martínez and Arturo Vidal before Mancini struck in the closing stages, and the Inter boss explained why he made those changes following a result which leaves second-placed Inter three points behind leaders Milan.
He said: “Vidal asked to be replaced due to injury, Lautaro gave a lot in those 75 minutes, also because I asked him to lower himself next to Vidal in the non-possession phase.
“Hakimi also ran a lot and was losing important balls. This is the third game in seven days. Inter must have an important squad to aspire to something important.
“I don’t see why [you should] not use players from the bench. I think that in the end the anxiety of the important result also takes over. That mentally leads you to lower yourself.
“But from the bench we asked [the players] to press high, because going deeper is not a good thing.”
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 10, 2021
Conte said he was pleased with the way his players responded to a midweek defeat to Sampdoria.
Asked about Inter’s second-half display, he said: “I think that we played well, in the first half too. Let’s not forget that Roma are fighting for the same thing we are and are just three points behind us.
“Going away to the third-placed team in the league and playing like this means we’re an organised and strong team.
“We had the chance to kill off the game but couldn’t manage it and let Roma back into it late on – because we were out of energy. It’s a shame because, with two minutes to go, we were beating a strong side.”
Matteo Darmian was replaced by Ashley Young in the first half and Inter revealed the full-back suffered a suffered a severe contusion to his left hip bone.
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