Giorgio Chiellini concedes Italy fans had every reason to jeer after a 1-1 draw with Macedonia. “Defeat to Spain sapped our enthusiasm.”
The Azzurri had won every game in the group until now, save for the draw and defeat to Spain.
“Once we had broken the deadlock, we should’ve controlled it a bit better, as Macedonia weren’t remotely dangerous for 75 minutes. We should’ve had it under control,” the goalscorer told Rai Sport.
“Clearly the defeat to Spain sapped the enthusiasm you need to work well and get there a moment earlier than the opponent. We had perhaps fooled ourselves that we were more advanced in our work than we really were, but we need to be more calm and relaxed.
“Even though it wasn’t a great performance, it was our first real slip-up of the qualifying group. We have to keep working, that’s the only secret, along with character and calm.
“It’s up to us to win over the applause of the fans. We understand they are upset, but in the moment of need, they’ll be with us.”
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