Inter head coach Antonio Conte does not want supporters to buy into negativity surrounding the club’s Champions League exit.
The Nerazzurri were frustrated in a goalless midweek draw against Shakhtar Donetsk that saw them dumped out of European competition for the rest of the season.
Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach occupied the top two spots in Group B, with Shakhtar dropping down to the Europa League.
It means Serie A is once again the prime focus for Conte, whose side lie third – five points shy of leaders and bitter rivals Milan as they prepare to travel to Cagliari on Sunday.
The former Italy and Chelsea boss offered an impassioned defence of his 18 months in charge at Inter, who finished as Serie A and Europa League runners-up last term, and believes the foundations he is laying could lead to a “skyscraper” being built that can be the envy of rivals revelling in their miserable week.
“The message I want to send to the fans is don’t make it easier for those who are relishing this moment and hope that we’ll self-destruct after all we’ve done over the last year-and-a-half,” Conte said. “I see too much negativity.
“Don’t make it easier for those who want to destroy us, because they see we can reap the rewards of this work in future.
“We must remain united, remembering this process already took us to second place in Serie A, the Europa League Final and the Coppa Italia semi-final.
“We only started it last year, but already regained credibility. We must have faith.
“I understand the impatience after 10 years of winning nothing, but we must also understand that when you rebuild from the foundations, that is what takes the most time.
“Once you have the foundations, you can build a skyscraper, the kind Inter fans deserve.”
Hard at work ahead of #CagliariInter
All of the best snaps from the session https://t.co/wnrtYOSD30
— Inter (@Inter_en) December 11, 2020
Conte added: “Please, let us not offer ourselves up to those who are enjoying Inter’s problems, to those who hate Inter and want our destruction. We want what is good for Inter and we want to build.”
Recent form suggests Inter are well-placed to bounce back against Cagliari, having won six of the past nine meetings between the sides in Serie A and scoring 21 times in the process.
Since 2015, Cagliari have lost four of their five home matches versus Inter, while Lautaro Martinez has scored in each of his four appearances against the Sardinians.
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