Inter captain Samir Handanovic admires Antonio Conte’s tough work ethic and warns “players can’t just think they are allowed to do anything. They have duties towards the club.”

The Nerazzurri have clamped down on discipline and hard training sessions under new Coach Conte, with Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan told they are not part of his plans.

“We are happy that Lele Oriali has returned as team manager, because he is the link between the club and squad, he sees everything,” said Handanovic in a Press conference.

“He is here because we want to get back to having the values that were lost over the years. Players have duties towards the club too, they can’t just think they are allowed to do anything because they are talented. With Oriali’s return and Conte in charge, we can improve a great deal.”

The goalkeeper was asked how he hopes the Icardi and Nainggolan situation will resolve itself, but his response left no room for interpretation.

“The club has been clear in its position, I do not need to add anything more.”

Conte has largely kept his training sessions behind closed doors in Lugano, but Handanovic confirms the Coach does not go easy on his men.

“We work extremely hard, but then we knew what to expect from Conte. I see my teammates all highly-motivated and ready for the challenge. I think our journey started two years ago with Luciano Spalletti and now we have strong foundations to build on.

“As the Coach said, we mustn’t set limits for ourselves and it’s important to dream big. We require the spirit of sacrifice first and foremost to become a team.

“I feel great pride in wearing the captain’s armband. My attitude has not changed, though. A captain is someone who takes responsibility and speaks when he has to, trying always to be fair. It takes many captains in a team, as one is not enough.

“On paper, this is a very strong side, but then you start playing. We must make the defence our greatest strength. We’re training for three at the back, even if Diego Godin hasn’t started work with us yet.”


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Football Italia staff