Saturday July 13 2019
U21: Nicolato opens new era

New Italy Under-21 Coach Paolo Nicolato insists there will be “the utmost collaboration” with Roberto Mancini to prepare players for the Nazionale.

Gigi Di Biagio left after the desperately disappointing European Under-21 Championships, which saw hosts Italy crash out in the group stage after a defeat to Poland.

Nicolato took the Azzurrini to the Under-20 World Cup semi-finals, losing to eventual trophy winners Ukraine.

“I’ll try to continue giving what I’ve done so far, as we have many players born in 1999 and 2000 who are very interesting. I hope to continue the work done by Di Biagio and the main objective is to prepare these lads for the senior squad.

“Obviously, everyone likes to win, but there are different ways of doing that. We need help from the clubs and they are stepping up to the plate.”

Roberto Mancini has tried to introduce greater collaboration with all the various youth levels of Italian football, to create consistency between the teams and Coaches.

“We have the utmost collaboration with Mancini, so our Under-21 tactical system and principles will be in line with the senior Nazionale,” continued Nicolato.

“I’ve known these players for the last three years now and that allows me to get the best out of them. I also hope to find new talent coming through.

“It will be a completely changed squad from the one we saw at the European Under-21 Championships, based mainly on the Under-20s and those who come through the other youth levels.

“I am not afraid of the challenge, because I’ve been in this profession for 30 years and feel like someone who has gone through the mill. Perhaps for the first time I get to lead a high level side.”

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