Friday June 7 2013
Prandelli: 'A valuable point'

Cesare Prandelli insisted “it was a very valuable point” against the Czech Republic, but he will lecture Mario Balotelli after the dismissal.

“It is a very valuable point. Obviously we weren’t sharp at all, we were slow and we suffered,” said the Coach after a 0-0 draw in Prague.

“These are the games that help form character, so it was a tough point, but an important one.

“This is a bit like the game before the Euros against Russia. Physically you can’t have fuel in the tank after a tough season, we knew that, but we wanted this point at all costs.”

This result leaves the Azzurri four points clear at the top of World Cup qualifying Group B, while the Czechs remain in third place.

The night was marred by Balotelli’s red card, as he received two bookings in the space of three minutes.

“Balotelli has to learn how to accept situations and he needs to grow in that sense. We will drum that message into him. I was going to substitute him, but I didn’t have time,” confessed Prandelli.

“I wanted depth and we did create some interesting moves, but we’re all lacking sharpness at the moment. The most important thing was the result.”

Italy’s training schedule has been aimed at reaching a peak during the Confederations Cup in Brazil. Their next game is a friendly against Haiti in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday evening.