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'Eriksen has had many opportunities' - Italian struggles not behind ex-Spurs star's Inter woes, says Conte

11:15 AM EST 11/21/20
Christian Eriksen Inter 2020-2021
The has struggled to become a starting XI regular, but his coach does not think it is due to a lack of minutes or his problems with the local language

Antonio Conte insists Christian Eriksen has already had "many opportunities" to cement himself in the Inter side and will not consider a switch in position to accommodate the midfielder. 

The Denmark international has struggled to fit in at Inter since his arrival from Tottenham in the January transfer window on a four-and-a-half-year contract. 

Joining halfway through the previous campaign offered little time to settle in at San Siro, but he has remained a peripheral figure at the start of the 2020-21 season. 

Eriksen started just three of Inter's five Serie A games before the November international break - and was substituted on each occasion by Conte. 

His failure to manage a goal or assist, though he has created five chances during his time on the pitch, led to a question in the pre-match press conference before Sunday's home fixture with Torino over whether the 28-year-old should be used in a deeper role. 

Conte, however, dismissed the suggestion, insisting such a change would "totally distort" Eriksen, who has been encouraged by team-mate Romelu Lukaku to learn Italian .

"I don't know about the language. As I said before, I always make choices for the good of Inter and therefore I try to do everything in the right way," the former Chelsea boss told the media.

"Eriksen has had many opportunities since the beginning of the year and has played more than many team-mates.  

"When I deem it appropriate, he will play in the opening 11 or in a game in progress, otherwise I will make other decisions.  

"As for the role, in my opinion he cannot play in front of the defence. He has an important shot, right and left, so putting him in front of the defence would totally distort him. This is my technical evaluation." 

Inter have struggled so far in Serie A this term - managing 12 points from their opening seven games - and are also propping up the rest in their Champions League group.

Conte's squad face a hectic schedule before the mid-season break in late December, with the game against Torino quickly followed by a pivotal home European clash with Real Madrid. 

"The situation is difficult, but it is for all the teams that play in European competitions," Conte said. "You play every three days and challenging matches in that time, too. It will be complicated until Christmas - and even after. 

"I'm hoping that good luck also smiles on us from the point of view of injuries and positivity." 

Inter have won only three of their first 10 matches this season in all competitions. The last time they achieved only three wins in their first 11 outings was back in 1983-84, when Luigi Radice was in charge.

However, Conte feels his team have played better than results would indicate, adding: "In the end, even if you dominate matches but draw or lose them, you will always tend to see the glass half empty.  

"In addition to performances, we must try to achieve results, which will change opinions, moods and many situations."