Inter coach Antonio Conte lauded his players for the spirit they showed in claiming a thrilling 3-2 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday night.
The Nerazzurri can still reach the Champions League Round of 16 thanks to the result, as Matteo Darmian and Romelu Lukaku’s brace was enough to overcome Alassane Plea’s brace for the home side.
Inter must now defeat Shakhtar Donetsk and hope Real Madrid and Gladbach does not end in a draw on the final matchday, and Conte made it clear he’s confident in his men given the spirit they showed in Germany.
“If you aren’t a team in every sense of the word, tactically or mentally, then you can’t come here and win against a team that are going through a great run of form,” he told Sky Sport Italia after the match.
“We played a great game, though perhaps we suffered needlessly. However we are alive and this is the most important thing. I have to thank the players because we showed the right spirit.
“When we show this kind of spirit, we can cause problems for any team. What I want is for everyone to grow in terms of responsibility. That’s the only way we can grow and aim for something ambitious.
“We are on a journey and matches like this show that the team is there. We all have the same intent.”
Inter conceded in first-half stoppage time but Conte stated he told his side to keep their cool once things resumed.
“The goal conceded in the final seconds could have killed us off in terms of morale and spirit, especially because we created a lot,” he added. “We looked at certain situations where we could improve, and I told them to return to the pitch with the quality we showed in the first half.
“We made some mistakes at the end but these players needed support, in the good and bad I am with them. I told them that in the end we would be rewarded and would win.
“I was prophetic…”