Conte tells Morocco's Hakimi to improve his defending

Reuters , Monday 30 Nov 2020

Real Madrid's French defender Ferland Mendy (L) and Inter Milan's Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi go for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match Inter Milan vs Real Madrid on November 25, 2020 at the Giuseppe-Meazza (San Siro) stadium in Milan. AFP

Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte offered a typically blunt assessment of Achraf Hakimi's progress at the club on Monday, saying the Moroccan full back needs to improve his defending and get used to the pressure.

The 22-year-old, who was signed from Real Madrid in the close season but spent his previous two campaigns on loan at Borussia Dortmund, has been criticised for his recent performances after a promising start.

"I don’t like talking about individuals," said Conte before going on to talk about Hakimi in detail. "Go back and watch what I said when Achraf arrived: he has great potential but needs to work on the defensive side of things.

"Let’s not forget that there are greater pressures, expectations and demands in Serie A compared to the Bundesliga or the Premier League.

"He has potential and needs to put in the hard work, all the while remaining aware that the pressure here is completely different compared to Germany.”

Inter visit Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday needing a win to have any hope of avoiding group stage elimination in the Champions League for the second season in a row. They are bottom of Group B with two points and Gladbach top with eight.

"We must give our all and come off the pitch without any regrets, said Conte.

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