Cesare Prandelli is confident Italy won’t let nerves get to them tonight, although Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni “knows us too well.”
The Azzurri must beat the Republic of Ireland this evening and hope Spain-Croatia doesn’t end 2-2 if they are to reach the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.
“I am very relaxed, as we have courage and character,” the Coach told Rai Sport.
“We do not fear tension, although every now and then we’d need a little light-heartedness. Instead sometimes we get criticised before we’ve even thought of an option.
“In any case, we are capable of taking those punches, as we’ve got grit.”
Prandelli has hinted he’ll switch back to the 4-3-1-2 system for tonight’s game in Poznan, scrapping the 3-5-2 that held Spain and Croatia to 1-1 draws.
“Trapattoni knows us too well, so why should I give him even more advantages by revealing my formation?
“I am pleased Xavi praised Italy’s performances, as it’s true we want to progress by playing good football. That is the idea.”