Monday June 4 2012
Abate has Euro 2012 optimism

Ignazio Abate is confident that Italy will have a good European Championship despite Friday’s 3-0 friendly loss to Russia.

“It was quite a balanced game against Russia until 10 minutes from the end,” the Milan right-back stated at the Azzurri’s Coverciano training base. “We missed a lot of scoring chances.

“It’s only normal that it is difficult to comment on a game that you lose 3-0, but our performance wasn’t that bad.

“I know my teammates and I know what they can do. We had 10 days of training in our legs, but we have got time to work over the next week.

“We just have to stay calm and aim to be in our best shape for the game against Spain. We are at the Coach’s disposal – even for tactical modifications.”

The Azzurri are in Group C where they will also come up against Croatia and Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland.

“When you play football at this level, then all of the big teams can be favourites – it’s like the Champions League,” added the 25-year-old defender.

“We have to be aware of everyone. All the teams can be ones to be afraid of and that was made clear against Russia.

“You have to be in top condition and I think we will be.”

Italy have had a problematic few weeks and they will go into the competition having lost their last three friendly games.

“We are a side who has a lot of desire and I think we’ll have a great European Championship,” added the former Empoli man.

“We have the right amount of concentration and we have isolated ourselves from the distractions of the gossip.

“Only by doing that can we achieve some important objectives.”

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