GENOA, Italy (Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte is tired of talking about midfielder Christian Eriksen, he said on Saturday after the Dane gave another indifferent performance in the 2-0 win at Genoa.
Eriksen has failed to make the expected impact since his move from Tottenham Hotspur in January and Inter improved noticeably after he was replaced by Nicolo Barella just before the hour of Saturday's match.
"I'm sorry you're getting stuck on Eriksen," Conte said in a post-match television interview. "You've been pointing out and asking me about Eriksen since last year. He's a footballer who plays when he deserves to, and if he doesn't deserve it, he doesn't play."
"We've seen his characteristics and we're trying to put him in the best condition. Sometimes he is more successful, sometimes less so," he said. "He's a positive lad, we're trying to help him grow in terms of intensity and he's putting a lot of effort into it."
"It bothers me to talk keep talking about Eriksen. He's not a problem for us. It's not right for Inter, for the player and for me to keep talking about him."
Conte added that Inter controlled the match from start to finish.
"We went onto the pitch to take the initiative as we have done in other games," he said. "Sometimes, you break through earlier, sometimes it takes longer. Today, our opponents didn't have a shot on goal and we kept a clean sheet."
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)