The coach takes stock on the eve of the match against Malta: “I read that Mateo is followed by various clubs, now he must understand European football”. Then the coach replies to Balotelli who had said: “There are strikers in Italy”
March 25 – Malta
“I’m quite calm,” says Roberto Mancini. And that “enough” doesn’t seem like trust halved, but only the prudence due to the moment, and also to tomorrow’s opponent, or the theoretically soft Malta, in the second match of the European qualifying journey. “One defeat can’t change everything and losing to England meant it,” he says too.
But it must not have been a useless defeat, adds Bryan Cristante: “We could have interpreted it differently, immediately picked them up in a more aggressive way, because then in the second half we went out a lot more and I don’t see this big gap”. Not before having treasured that lesson, therefore: “The idea and the mentality with which you enter the pitch are fundamental. Winning is an obligation in all matches, therefore the pressure we will have tomorrow is normal, because there is always And the fact of being superior, because we know we are, is not enough: we have to demonstrate it. We cannot allow ourselves any more missteps, because then at these levels it takes a lot of effort in every game and therefore it pays off. And not even the slightest drop in concentration : you have to enter the field immediately one hundred percent and bring it home, without ifs and buts”.
Yes, because it’s true that losing against England was fine, but Mancini knows he would feel much less, in fact he wouldn’t mind, not winning tomorrow night, but he’s used to certain obligations: “We always have pressure on us, because you always have to win, you always have to try to win them all. And tomorrow’s points are three important ones”. And Malta will do everything to make the complicated complicated, as it has always been in the last matches, which it is no coincidence that Italy won narrowly, after having faced defensive walls that were difficult to climb over: “I expect a match similar to those “Challenges like this can all become complicated if you can’t unblock them, because the pressure gradually builds. We’ll need to be concentrated right away: we know the difficulties we’ll encounter, we’ve seen how Malta held a 0-0 draw against Macedonia for a long time”.
Hold back and…
A fresh team will also be needed, not only aggressive from the start as they did on Thursday against England only in the second half: “I don’t know how many yet, because I’ll do the latest evaluations on recovery of energy today and tomorrow morning, but there will be several changes Thursday, due to fatigue”. Retegui will also have to be evaluated, but the impression is that he will have another chance as a starter: “I read that various clubs follow him, perhaps we didn’t see each other wrong. He wants to become a great striker, but he doesn’t know European football yet and almost not even the names of his teammates, certainly their characteristics. The wingers and midfielders must help him more, but he must also help himself, learning certain movements and tuning in with the team. And also the language, obviously: but he has arrived for three days, his grandfather was able to speak Italian, those social networks seem meaningless to me”. But Mario Balotelli also launched a message via social media, with clear reference to the coach’s recent words: “The strikers in Italy are there and they are in good shape, trust me”. Mancini’s answer with a smile: “I’m glad they’re there. I don’t know what he’s referring to, but I love Mario too much, I hope he’s really fit.”
March 25, 2023 (change March 25, 2023 | 19:19)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED