Antonio Conte urged Inter fans to back his side and was disappointed to hear them whistle Friday’s lacklustre 0-0 Serie A draw against Roma.
Inter had moved to the top of the table thanks to last week’s 2-1 win over SPAL, while Italian champions Juventus were held 2-2 by Sassuolo.
Their stay at the summit is set to be short-lived after Inter pair Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez endured a rare off-night in front of goal at San Siro.
Juve can return to their familiar position by beating Lazio on Saturday and head coach Conte was keen to remind the Inter faithful that his men are punching above their weight by most reasonable measures.
“The fans must support us and help us, as they are doing, because it is a moment where we must make a virtue of their support,” he told Sky Italia.
“I was sorry to hear a few whistles after wrong passages [of play]. This is not good, we need everyone.
“They must support us and they must not whistle at the first mistake.
“It is not easy to play at the San Siro, many of the boys are young, everyone needs help.
“I wanted to say this because I always want to protect the group. We must not become presumptuous, these kids must always be supported.”
Instead of criticising his all-star forward line, Conte chose instead to credit Roma’s stand-in goalkeeper Antonio Mirante.
“Yes [Lukaku and Martinez made mistakes], even if we also have to take into account Mirante’s great game, which was the best on the field,” he said.
“When we win, we draw and we lose, we do it all together. The midfielders also had the opportunity to score, not just the forwards.
“In the second half there was a good opportunity for Matias Vecino that Mirante deflected for a corner.”
Conte added: “We had a good game and we are happy with what we produced. Unfortunately we have not finished, we must be more precise.”
Inter welcome Barcelona for a crunch Champions League clash at the San Siro on Tuesday, as they need to match or better Dortmund’s result against Slavia Prague to progress to the knockouts.