Antonio Conte has lashed out at questions surrounding Alexis Sanchez’s fitness after the Inter Milan star failed to feature against Atalanta.
The 31-year-old, currently on loan from Manchester United, was among the title chasers’ substitutes on Saturday but was not brought on despite Inter appearing at risk of dropping points.
And in his post-match press conference, the former Chelsea coach was disgruntled after fielding questions about Sanchez’s availability.
He said: ‘You ask me about (Alexis) Sanchez, well in order to play the guys have to be fit. I am not crazy, I am neither an imbecile or someone who likes to hurt himself.
‘I know that one plus one makes two, but if in your opinion it makes five. If I decide to put somebody on the pitch it’s because I have my reasons.’
The Chilean superstar has been plagued by injuries since opting to move to Italy from Old Trafford at the start of the season, with Sanchez making just four appearances before being sidelined with a foot problem.
Conte opted to name Sanchez on the bench for Inter’s last two league clashes, but the former Barcelona wideman has been forced to watch on twice as his teammates continue their push to the Serie A summit.
The top-flight giants had topped the league standings over the winter break, but were overtaken by Juventus after settling for a share of the spoils at the San Siro.
Atalanta could even have snatched all three points in second-half injury time, but Samir Handanovic’s penalty save ensured Inter remain in the hunt for silverware.
The Inter boss’ desire for success was also evident earlier in the campaign, with the club on the brink of elimination from the Champions League.
After suffering defeat against Borussia Dortmund in a crucial group stage clash, Conte launched into a furious tirade about the depth of his squad and their ability to win trophies.
‘Apart from Diego Godin, these players haven’t won anything and lack experience,’ Conte had said.
‘We have too limited a squad to face both Serie A and Champions League football this season. I mean limited in terms of numbers and quality.
‘Some players have to be on the field constantly and in the long run, you do pay for that. I am furious because this cancels out the good work.’