Heat and packed fixture list forces Conte to rotate

Serie A - Inter Milan v Sampdoria
Serie A - Inter Milan v Sampdoria

(Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte will be forced to rotate his squad for the rest of the season because of the hot weather and packed fixture list, he said on Tuesday as his team prepared for their second game in 72 hours.

The fiery coach said his team, who are third and face 12 matches in six weeks as Serie A races to complete the season after a three-month coronavirus stoppage, would also have to pace themselves when they face Sassuolo on Wednesday.

"It won’t be easy, there’s never a lot of time to recover. We’ll have to be good off the ball and at choosing the right times to press," he told Inter's television channel.

Scroll to continue with content

"We haven’t had too much time to prepare, but we’re well aware of Sassuolo's strengths and weaknesses.”

"With this calendar and the heat, there has to be rotation," added Conte, whose side resumed their league campaign with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

"It’s a one-of-a-kind situation. We’ll look to give those who need it a rest from game to game. I’ve got faith in every player in the squad: we’re hoping to have as few setbacks as possible, we need everyone.

"We’re a bit short in midfield where Matias Vecino is carrying a knee problem and we’re hoping to have him back soon.”

Inter are nine points behind leaders Juventus with Wednesday's game in hand but Conte said they would not give in.

"I’ve found myself in all kinds of situations. Those in the lead are the masters of their own fate, the others need to pick up the pace to keep up," he said.

"For us, every game is make or break. We want to continue to be a nuisance right until the end."

(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

What to read next