Wednesday November 18 2020
Nicolato: 'Italy changed after Sweden'

Italy U21 coach Paolo Nicolato reveals he changed tactics after a defeat to Sweden, so today’s 4-1 victory shows their progress.

The Azzurrini completed their domination of the group with a 4-1 victory this evening, having already qualified for the European Under-21 Championship and made numerous changes to the squad.

“This was another very good performance with many goals, so we gave the nod to those who hadn’t played as much so far, and everyone is finding space,” the coach told RAI Sport.

Italy’s only defeat in this group was 3-0 in Sweden, but they recovered to reassert their dominance and knock the Scandinavians out.

“I thought the criticism of the team after that defeat in Sweden was excessive and people didn’t work to understand the situation. I know that I can count on these lads and they have a great team spirit.

“I choose the system based on the players at my disposal, so I chose 3-5-2 after what happened in Sweden. It was the right choice, and we’ll adjust based on who we have in the squad.”

The team could change radically by the time the tournament comes around, as there are many players still available for the Under-21 side despite being regulars at senior level, including Sandro Tonali, Alessandro Bastoni and Manuel Locatelli.

“I’m not going to turn anyone away! These are all talented lads who started with us and continued their journey, but they have the right spirit to play.”