Saturday September 8 2012
Prandelli: 'Italy lost identity'

Cesare Prandelli concedes Italy “must not” repeat the performance in Bulgaria. “We’ve got to rediscover our identity against Malta.”

The Azzurri were held to a 2-2 draw in Sofia last night in the opening World Cup qualifier.

“I watched the game over again and I had to make a critical analysis,” said the Coach in his Press conference this afternoon.

“We were under pressure a lot of the time and that must not happen. We’ve got to analyse everything and rediscover our identity by Tuesday against Malta.

“We don’t have much time, but this is what we have to work on.”

Daniele De Rossi is out after picking up a thigh injury, which initial reports suggest could keep him sidelined for a month.

“It is not necessarily true that we will make many changes on Tuesday, but clearly we have to focus on quality,” continued Prandelli.

“We are Italy and have to be characterised by something that goes beyond a simple tactical model.

“Our team requires a different approach and to impose ourselves on the game. We must understand this and return to being ourselves once more, otherwise we’ll have another reason to be worried.”

The tactician was also very critical of himself after using the 3-5-2 and then 4-3-1-2 systems during the game.

“I read the newspapers this morning and agree that my performance was insufficient. For the first time in two years I saw a team that was too stretched out and played too many long balls.”

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo broke his senior Italy duck by scoring a brace in Sofia.

"I was very pleased with Osvaldo, especially as he didn't try to be a protagonist at all costs. There were a lot of expectations around him and he didn't disappoint. He is a modern striker, so can partner anyone."