Monday June 10 2019
Mancini: Attacking Italy ethos

Roberto Mancini has expressed his desire for Italy to play with ‘an attacking style’ but warned that they will not challenge without goals from their strikers.

Italy resumed their Euro 2020 qualification campaign with a 3-0 win in Greece on Saturday and round off the international break in Turin against Bosnia-Herzegovina tomorrow.

“I’ll make a few changes, but not too many,” Mancini said at a Press conference.

“It’s difficult to decide who to bring in as they are all good players. Training today and tomorrow will help me make that decision. We must do our best to beat Bosnia.

“It’s true that our goals have come from a lot of different sources. Now we just need to get our strikers on the scoresheet.

“Italy have always had good players, we needed time to change our fortunes from last year. I need the team to play well and express themselves with an attacking style of football.

“However, in tournaments against the best teams, the goals of a striker become important.

“Andrea Belotti did a great job in Athens. He provided the assist for the first goal and created chances in the second half. His goals will come.”

Bosnia lost 2-0 in Finland at the weekend, and that result left them on just four points in the group after three games played.

“Bosnia are a good side and have a good chance of qualifying. I think the result in Finland was just a blip. Miralem Pjanic is an important player for them as he makes the team tick and keeps the ball moving.

“There are no easy games at this level, just look at what happened the other night when Turkey beat France.

“They aren’t that different from Greece, and if we hadn’t given the maximum amount of effort we could have lost too.

“Bosnia may be coming from a bad defeat, but this will be a different game. They will be motivated to do well. As we didn’t qualify for the last World Cup, we can’t take anything for granted.”

The Azzurri have kept six successive clean sheets, and the CT was asked about their new defensive solidity.

“We don’t only have good defenders, we have great players in different positions, so I was positive when I took over.

“The national team has a pool of 30-40 players to pick from, and there is a lot of quality in those players.

“Italian footballers have always had quality. Maybe years ago we thought about playing more defensively, but now we think differently, even if the old style won us four World Cups.”

Italy are currently 17th in the FIFA World Rankings, moving up a place from the previous standings.

“We want to keep winning so we can climb up the rankings table. Italy don’t deserve to be in this position.

“There are times when things go wrong, like not qualifying for the World Cup, but these things can happen.

“I think that disappointment can be an extra motivation for us to do better.”

With Antonio Conte taking over at Inter and Maurizio Sarri close to being announced as the new Juventus Coach, Mancini was asked about the duo’s impact on their return to Serie A.

“I have always thought that Italian Coaches are the best on a tactical level, due to the good work done at Coverciano,” he concluded.

“If all the best Italian Coaches are in Serie A, it can only be a good thing for the competitiveness of the League.”