Antonio Conte said Inter are still in the hunt for the scudetto, insisting his side hope to “achieve something extraordinary” in Serie A.
Inter – third in the standings – returned to league action following the coronavirus-enforced break with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.
Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez were on target in a brilliant first half, both players capping fine team moves as Inter regrouped from their Coppa Italia semi-final exit at the hands of Napoli.
Conte’s Inter are six points behind leaders Juventus through 26 games, and five adrift of Lazio in the race for silverware in Italy.
“This evening, we had no choice but to get the victory so we could close the gap to six points,” head coach Conte said in a news conference.
“We fuel the hope that we can achieve something extraordinary. It’s true that we could’ve sealed it earlier by making more of our chances, but instead we conceded at the first Samp attempt and got a little anxious. It was a good performance, anyway.
“I repeat, it’s not a fitness issue, but when we have scoring opportunities and do not take them, which also happened in the Coppa Italia with Napoli, all it takes is one lucky ricochet and it’s all up for grabs again.
“I hope these games will help us realise we must kill – in a sporting sense – the opponent and kill the game when we have the chance.”
Inter next meet Sassuolo on Wednesday and Conte added: “We’re six points off the top with 12 rounds to go. There’s no margin for error, whereas Lazio and Juventus can have the odd mistake and get away with it.
“This is why need that ferocity in front of goal, because with a strong lead, we can then relax on the ball.”