ROME (Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte said results were more important than performances ahead of a decisive week in which his side face fellow Serie A title contenders AS Roma and Juventus.
The Milan club were on an eight-match winning league run before a shock 2-1 loss at Sampdoria on Wednesday.
Conte’s side nevertheless remain second in the standings, one point behind AC Milan, but with Roma now just three points behind Inter in third spot.
The two sides meet in the capital on Sunday before Inter host champions Juve a week later after a midweek Coppa Italia last 16 clash at Fiorentina on Wednesday.
“Roma are strong and are doing very well, they can challenge for the league title and a place in the Champions League,” Conte told a media conference.
“Against strong teams you can measure your ambitions and your own strength. Judgements are conditioned by the results and so I want to get a result.
“It’s an important week. We’re playing against two great teams and there is a lot of motivation. We need to measure our ambition with facts, not words.”
Conte was critical of Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal after Inter’s 6-2 win against Crotone on Jan. 3, saying he “needs to show he deserves to play” after being at fault for both goals.
Vidal was subsequently dropped to the bench for the defeat by Sampdoria but Conte said he was pleased with how the 33-year-old had responded to his comments.
“He has trained in the right way with great determination, focus and desire,” the coach said. “Sometimes I use the carrot, like I did with Arturo, other times I use the stick.
“But it’s always because I want the best for the player and the team. Arturo knows me very well, he knows that I won’t turn away if I don’t like something.”
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ken Ferris)