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Inter must not take the game against SPAL lightly, Conte warns

Inter must show the right attitude and determination when they take on Serie A's bottom club SPAL on Thursday, says Antonio Conte.

A 2-1 home defeat to Bologna on July 5 left Inter 11 points adrift of league leaders Juventus, but the gap was reduced to eight points with six games remaining following their 3-1 win over Torino on Monday.

Atalanta moved above the Nerazzurri and into second with a 6-2 thrashing of local rivals Brescia on Tuesday.


SPAL sit 11 points adrift of safety and look destined for relegation to Serie B, but Conte believes that makes them dangerous opponents.

"We need to go into the match with the same desire and enthusiasm that we're currently displaying, trying to give our all and pick up three very important points in the process," Conte told a pre-match news conference on Wednesday.

"We need to be attentive in our approach and show the right attitude and determination from kick-off. We're facing a side that is adrift in the table, but let's not forget that playing against big sides like Inter is a big motivational factor.

"Therefore, we need to pay attention. Our attitude, determination, the enthusiasm that we have and the desire to continue to do well and try to achieve victory are all things that will count for a lot."

Inter have only lost four games in Serie A this season – as many as Juve after 32 matches – and have seen 18 different players score.

"These numbers are testament to the excellent things that this team is doing: they need to provide us with the motivation to continue on the path we're on as we look to do even better," said Conte.

"We're doing some important work, and I'd like to thank my staff for this: they support and accompany me, prepare videos of matches that we've just been involved in, analyse our future opponents, and also help in training and all the rest.

"Close collaboration and high-quality staff are required, which luckily I have."

Conte confirmed Victor Moses is available again after missing Inter's past three games with a thigh injury, though the meeting with SPAL comes too soon for Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku.

He said: "Nicolo Barella is on the road to recovery. He's started to work with the ball and we hope to have him at our disposal for the next game.

"[Matias] Vecino is still struggling with a knee problem. [Stefano] Sensi is continuing to receive treatment. Meanwhile, Lukaku is trying to overcome a contracture, we hope to have him back as soon as possible."

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