Cesare Prandelli warned Italy must cling to “humility” at the World Cup after their draw with Germany.
“In terms of physical fitness, the side held out well until the final whistle. We are in good shape and it’s normal that you suffer a little in these games, but we too had great chances to score,” said the Coach in his Press conference after a 1-1 result.
“We were naive and gave away a few opportunities, but were facing one of the best national teams in the world. Let’s not forget the Champions League Final this year had two German sides.”
Prandelli hit back at criticism, as Germany hit the woodwork three times at San Siro.
“If we think that we can just go out and dominate Germany, then we’re on the wrong track. If we have humility, then we can do well.
“At the World Cup we need a team that knows when to take advantage of the right moment. We must prepare for a type of football where there are games within the games.
“This team can certainly improve and we’ve got to focus on having the right fitness levels in Brazil. We are going to the World Cup and know we can put anyone under pressure, including teams stronger than we are. We’ve got courage, but we cannot start out as favourites, though.”
Italy had started the game brightly, but conceded at Germany’s first chance when Mats Hummels nodded in a corner. For the next 20 minutes, the Azzurri were under the cosh and seemed to be drained of confidence.
“In the first half we started well, but then lost our cool after conceding from a corner. We should’ve sped up the tempo more, but as time went on the team kept its balance and we did better.
“After the break Germany never had a real shot on goal. We were more solid and tight, finding players between the lines, so this was a valid test.
“Where do we still need to improve? Obviously between midfield and attack, as at times we need a player who can move between those two zones. With two strikers, it’s tough to spread the play.”
Dani Osvaldo and Mario Balotelli once again did not form a good partnership, though Giuseppe Rossi is expected to play against Nigeria on Monday.
“I substituted Osvaldo with Antonio Candreva because I wanted a midfielder who would attack the space,” explained Prandelli.
“We now have two days to recover and the plan is to put out an entirely new team in the next game.”