Antonio Conte insists he ‘started from zero’ at Juventus to create a winning mentality and is doing the same at Inter, but shrugs off questions about his future ahead of the Verona encounter.
It kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“It’s a tough game against a team that is doing really well this season, because although there was a series of negative results, the performances did not deserve them,” said Conte in his press conference.
“They have an excellent coach in Ivan Juric who the club should be grateful to, because he improves the players via hard work. He did it last season and is doing it again now.
“You can tell he worked with Gian Piero Gasperini and I can only speak highly of all that Juric is doing.”
Inter are 10 points clear at the top of the table despite back-to-back 1-1 draws at Napoli and Spezia.
“We are growing in every respect and must now try to reach the finish line, because that’s when you realise how far you’ve come and will always from then on know the path that has to be taken in order to win. It will be within us forever.”
Conte had started the Juventus Scudetto winning streak and is now set to end it by taking Inter to their first title in 11 years.
“In terms of creating a winning mentality, we were starting from zero at Juventus, so this isn’t the first time. Aside from ideas, the thing a coach needs most is to find players who are willing to challenge themselves and do something different.
“Our campaign has been above every possible expectation and the lads know full well there is still that last step. The great thing about being out in front is that we don’t have to worry about who is behind us. We can focus only on ourselves and on winning the game.”
However, Conte has dropped hints over the last few weeks that he doesn’t know what the future holds for Inter, especially when it comes to investment and the club’s search for fresh liquidity.
“I am a person who focuses on the present. Until there is something in hand, I cannot talk about it. That would be stupid and presumptuous of me.
“We’re on an important path and until we get our hands on the Scudetto, it’d be wrong to talk about it. My past experience urges me to be patient. If we deserve the title, then it will arrive.
“Look, when it’s all over, then we can talk. Your questions are too complicated, too many ifs and buts, and too based on the future.”