Sunday June 9 2019
Mancini: 'Jorginho grew at Chelsea'

Roberto Mancini discussed the most difficult part of being Italy Coach and why Jorginho has improved thanks to his Chelsea experience.

The Azzurri maintained their 100 per cent record in qualifying with a 3-0 victory away to Greece last night, which combined with Bosnia’s 2-0 defeat in Finland put them three points clear at the top of their group.

“This proves that Finland are a good team, but perhaps even we didn’t expect them to win that game,” said Mancini in his Press conference.

Italy dominated in Athens and not just in terms of the scoreline, as they had 63 per cent possession, completing 689 passes compared to 265 for the hosts.

“We played very well in the first half and didn’t allow Greece to do anything. One of the reasons why we concede so little is that the midfielders hold the ball well and stay in advanced positions. The forwards are also aggressive and make it difficult for the opposition to get a rhythm going.

“Jorginho was already doing well at Napoli, but perhaps playing in England has given him more experience in dealing with a higher tempo and referees who let play run more.

“Greece are in reality a great passing team, so we created problems for them and they couldn’t play their football. Andrea Belotti was perfect in the first half, as his work really stretched out the Greece defence.

“We tried to control our advantage too much after the break and wasted several chances to add to the tally.”

Mancini had been expected to start Fabio Quagliarella and Federico Bernardeschi, but opted for Belotti and goal-scorer Lorenzo Insigne instead.

“We have to choose among six or seven players, all of them very talented, and that is difficult to send some on to the bench or even the stands.

“Everyone can get back into the team, but whittling it down to a list is the hardest part of the job. We will certainly make changes against Bosnia, but that is the last push before the summer vacation, so some will work overtime.

“It’s good that we have so many players with enormous margin for improvement, like Nicolò Barella, Federico Chiesa, Bernardeschi, Stefano Sensi, Bryan Cristante, Moise Kean… The hope is that from now until the Euros, they can improve a great deal.”

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