Inter must recover for tough Barcelona and Juventus fixtures - Conte

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The Italian led his team to a sixth consecutive league win on Saturday then asked for more of the same with difficult games looming

Inter head coach Antonio Conte urged his players to take the intensity of their performances in Serie A into crunch games with Barcelona and Juventus.

Conte's side played virtually half of their 3-1 win over Sampdoria on Saturday with 10 men as they maintained their 100 per cent winning run

Inter secured victory on the road thanks to goals from Stefano Sensi, Alexis Sanchez and Roberto Gagliardini, while Jakub Jankto pulled one back for Sampdoria.

Sanchez, on loan from Manchester United, had a particularly eventful game as he scored his first Inter goal and was then sent off a minute into the second half for a second bookable offence.

Inter are two points clear of Juventus at the top of Serie A after six straight victories and Conte wants to use that as a springboard as they head to Camp Nou before hosting the Italian champions at the weekend.

"We need to recover our energy to make an intense match so we can make it difficult for Barca," Conte said. "I do not have to tell you the opposition teams we are playing.

"If you want to put Barcelona in difficulty, you have to play an intense game but at the same time you have to be good at limiting and not letting them play, otherwise it becomes a problem.

"You also have to be good at dribbling and building. This beginning in the league is the result of so much work and a lot of willingness on the part of the boys."

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The victory saw Conte equal Roberto Mancini's best start to a season, although he still needs two more wins to overtake legendary Inter head coach Helenio Herrera's record of seven in the 1966-67 season.

But before looking to get close to that record, Conte must first steer Inter to their first win in this edition of the Champions League in Barcelona, having drawn their opening game 1-1 against Slavia Prague at the San Siro.

The two teams met in the group stage 12 months ago, with Barca winning the home leg 2-0 before points were shared in a 1-1 draw in Milan.

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