Romelu Lukaku has revealed that Inter head coach Antonio Conte’s no-nonsense approach is getting the best out of his game.
The Belgium international moved to the Serie A outfit from Manchester United for £75 million ($98m) in the summer and has rapidly established himself as one of the most dangerous forwards in Italy’s top flight.
After being perceived as a flop at Old Trafford, he has excelled in Milan, where he has 14 goals in 20 Serie A appearances this season.
He says that the mentality of Conte is getting the best from his game and even said that being rubbished in front of his team-mates after one particularly poor display has motivated him to achieve greater heights.
“I remember one of my first Champions League games against Slavia Prague when I played really bad - like I was trash that day - and I really got it from him in front of the whole team,” the former Everton hitman told Sky Sports.
“He told me that I was really trash and that he would take me off after five minutes if I would have done it again.
“It's little things like that. And we played the Milan derby just after that and I played one of my best games of the season.
“He just gave me that - he stepped on my confidence but it woke me up at the same time. He does it to everybody, it doesn't matter who you are. Everybody is equal.
“It had never really happened to me before. It had never happened.
“The manager, he tells it straight to your face if you're doing well or wrong.”
Lukaku also credits the formations used with Inter and Belgium, where Roberto Martinez is head coach, for his strong form.
“When there is a lot of movement around me, here and with the Belgian national team, I am at my best because then I can create myself and I can be at the end of the delivery,” he added.
“Right now, the systems we are playing, here at Inter with the 3-5-2, and with the Belgium national team in a 3-4-3 with players close to me.
“Here [at Inter] we play in a system where you have to be in a certain position but at the end of the day, if you stand in the right position, you get chances.
“It is different with the Belgian national team, where there is much more freedom but I have more players around me.”