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Pioli Not Worried About Conte’s Shadow

Stefano Pioli says feels comfortable on the Inter bench and shrugs off Antonio Conte rumours.

“I open the door, but don’t see anyone there.”

The Coach was already under fire before Monday’s 2-1 home defeat to Sampdoria, which effectively ended their hopes of a Champions League spot.

“We’ll evaluate our position at the end of the season. I do have a solid points per game average since taking over, so that means we’ve done well overall,” Pioli told Top Calcio 24.

“Monday’s undeserved defeat sapped some of our enthusiasm, but now we need to get back on track. Our objective remains to build something here at Inter and to finish as high up the table as possible, so that we can work towards a better future.”

Pioli was brought in following the firing of Frank de Boer, who in turn replaced Roberto Mancini just two weeks before the start of the season.

“When you start working mid-season, you have to rush through all the usual processes, especially when it comes to understanding the players at your disposal.

“You’ve got to pass on your ideas of football and get into their heads.”

Chelsea manager Conte is still touted as a potential replacement at San Siro, so does Pioli feel firmly on the Inter bench?

“I open the door, but don’t see anyone there,” smiled Pioli. “I am concentrated, motivated and relaxed. I know that in my career I had to sweat for every step and it’s what I will continue to do.

“I feel that I am the Inter Coach and along with Inter I want this to be a starting point which can also become an achievement in itself.

“I think we need to take it one step at a time, as it’s only right to be ambitious for the history of this club. It’s also true that for the last few seasons the top three clubs have always been Juventus, Napoli and Roma, so that means something.

“What we can do is consolidate our growth and try to close that gap as much as possible. I am fortunate enough to work at Appiano Gentile with the directors, so clearly we talk about the future as well as consistency.”

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