Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti praised Milan Skriniar and Ivan Perisic after his side's 2-0 win over Crotone on Saturday.
The centre-back opened the scoring in a scrappy affair before Perisic sealed the points with a strike in injury-time and Spalletti thanked his two match-winners, admitting Inter laboured for large periods against the Serie A strugglers.
He told Inter's website: “Skriniar is a player who is always alert, he’s physical and he has personality. We put faith in him and he’s a tough starter for those who show faith.
"Perisic sacrificed himself a lot. Teams that want to get results think this way by dividing up strengths and weaknesses and by taking on responsibility when their teammates are in difficulty.
"Leaders show themselves when the team needs them and Ivan has shown that he is important in these opening matches.
“We won a match that was crucial for us, we kept saying that all week.
"We struggled a bit, Handanovic made two important saves but to win like that is a sign of adaptability, mental toughness and great personality.
"The road is still long, we have 34 games left and we have to be ready to play them in such a way that we can look to win as many as possible. We’re not getting carried away. We are on the right road but we have to keep quickly making steps forward.”
Inter are now top of the Serie A table, with title rivals Juventus and Napoli playing on Sunday.