Inter boss Conte reveals schedule fears
Antonio Conte fears Inter's hectic schedule could eventually catch up with his team despite the Nerazzurri moving top of Serie A on Tuesday.
Inter leapfrogged Juventus by two points atop the summit, albeit having played a game more, after beating Brescia 2-1 thanks to goals from Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku at Stadio Rigamonti.
However, head coach Conte – who is without the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Stefano Sensi due to injury – admitted his concerns about Inter running out of steam amid a busy domestic and European schedule.
"It becomes difficult to talk about the game, because the same players are out there constantly. They struggled to an extraordinary degree," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.
"It was our fourth game in nine days, with the same players. Any situation or result is acceptable at that point. All we can do is thank them for the spirit they showed to hang in until the end.
"Now we're only halfway there, as we have another game with Bologna, then Borussia Dortmund and we'll have seven games in 20 days before we get to rest. It's an anomaly and I haven't seen any other side with a fixture list like that, so it seemed very strange to me.
"Some games you need to win just by suffering. They must understand that for many reasons, as for example the hosts are pushing to turn the result around, you have to soak up the pressure, hang in there and I challenge anyone to play four games in nine days while getting a victory at Brescia."
Conte added: "We're top of the table, but pushing the engine to the max and it can't go much longer."
Martinez made it seven club goals for the campaign but conceded it was a tough night for Inter, who were made to sweat following Milan Skriniar's late own goal.
"It was difficult, a very intense game against a team that moves very well," Martinez told Sky Sport Italia.
"We knew that it was going to be tough to take the three points here, but we tried to impose our football, knowing full well Brescia would clam up and defend.
"Some fatigue is natural, as we play with a great deal of intensity every three days, so that needs a lot of physical effort. We are nonetheless happy with the work we're doing for our coach.
"As always, we take it one game at a time, know we are doing very well and it's important to once again return from an away fixture with three points."