Inter full back Hakimi told to improve his defending


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - U.S. Sassuolo v Inter Milan - Mapei Stadium - Citta del Tricolore, Reggio Emilia, Italy - November 28, 2020 Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte reacts REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

(Reuters) - 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.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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