Friday October 11 2013
Prandelli: 'Italy lost focus'

Cesare Prandelli admits Italy adopted the wrong mentality during the 2-2 draw with Denmark and became “vulnerable.”

The Azzurri had gone 1-0 up through Dani Osvaldo, then a brace of Nicklas Bendtner headers put the hosts in front before a stoppage-time Alberto Aquilani equaliser.

“We suffered above all at the start of the second half, as for 20 minutes we focused only on defending,” the Coach told Rai Sport in Copenhagen.

“This team is accustomed to playing and taking control, so if we lose that then we become vulnerable. Once we began playing again we created some good chances. Denmark had to win and therefore gave perhaps even more than they had, but we got the draw.

“We know there are moments where you mustn’t drop the concentration. We dropped back by 10 metres before the break and allowed Denmark to put those crosses in.

“We moved the ball around fairly well, kept the ball to feet and had a great chance with Claudio Marchisio. Clearly we were also lucky with Denmark hitting the woodwork twice, but those were on set plays.”

Mario Balotelli was not even in the stands, as he was suffering from flu symptoms, but should be fit for Tuesday’s final World Cup qualifier against Armenia.

“Balotelli had a bit of a fever today, we hope he’ll be better by Tuesday. Armenia have the chance to get second place, so it will be tough, but we want to end the group unbeaten.”

It is likely that whoever finishes second in Group B – Armenia, Denmark or Bulgaria – it won’t be enough to reach the play-offs.