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Conte: 'Proud of leaders Inter'

Antonio Conte is “proud” to see Inter on top of the table after a record-breaking start to the season. “It must push us on to do even better.”

The Nerazzurri leapfrogged Juventus, who drew 2-2 with Sassuolo today, to go top of the Serie A table aftera 2-1 victory over SPAL.

It sets a new all-time record as Inter’s best ever start to a Serie A season, winning 12 of the opening 14 rounds.

“We’ve been working since Day One to make an impact and annoy the other teams. Being back on top of the table after 14 rounds makes us proud, because we know the journey we’ve been through to get here,” Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

“At the same time, it should give us positive enthusiasm, push us to do even better and control the game without suffering to the end the way we did today, because in those circumstances a cross or deflected shot can change everything.”

Lautaro Martinez scored both goals in the first half, while Mattia Valoti got SPAL back into it after the break.

“We were determined today and knew Juventus had dropped points, so were prepared to make the most of the situation. We deserved to beat SPAL and it’s important to remember we are focused on our own growth process, which is in full swing, so we’re not trying to compare ourselves with others.

“Lautaro – we call him Lauty – used to live for the goal, but I was very clear with him that the top strikers are the ones who work for the team, who track back in defence and seek each other out. Romelu Lukaku, for instance, didn’t score today, but he was constantly involved.”

Conte was asked if he sleeps better as the Serie A leader rather than in second place.

“I don’t sleep much in general, to be honest…”

Director Beppe Marotta dropped hints about potential interest in Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal.

“Even in a difficult situation with a reduced number of players, we still got good responses from the lads. I think it is therefore disrespectful for me to talk about the transfer market now. The club will do what it can and that is their focus.

“I was fortunate enough to coach Vidal when he had just come from Bayer Leverkusen, so was not the star name he is now. He has always given me his all.”

Finally, Conte was asked if he felt that Inter were as strong as Juventus.

“I’ll have to think about that.”

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