Saturday October 7 2017
Rugani: 'Azzurri sat back'

Daniele Rugani believes Italy’s biggest mistake against Macedonia was “slowing down after taking the lead” in their 1-1 draw.

The Juventus defender came off the bench for injured Andrea Barzagli at half-time, but could not prevent Aleksandar Trajkovski wiping out a Giorgio Chiellini opener.

“We simply got it wrong by slowing down after taking the lead,” Rugani told Rai Sport.

“In the second half, we lowered the tempo, sat back and paid a heavy price for it in the end.

“That is something we must work on, because it’s important to always play with a high intensity. We need to be ferocious even when in the lead.”

Now the Nazionale must get a point in Albania on Monday to be sure of their 2018 World Cup play-off spot, although it might not be enough to make them seeds in the draw.

“We are going to Albania to take the initiative and avoid this kind of slip-up,” concluded Rugani.

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