Wednesday February 29 2012
Chiellini: 'It wasn't so awful'

Giorgio Chiellini insisted the performance in Italy’s defeat to the USA “wasn’t so awful and we remain convinced we’ll have a great Euros.”

The Azzurri had never previously lost to the Americans, but were beaten 1-0 in Genoa in tonight’s friendly.

“The match wasn’t so awful and we are annoyed to have lost, as incidents went against us, but we remain convinced we’ll have a great Euros.

“We created the opportunities and allowed USA pretty much nothing aside from the goal, so it is a shame. We must be more effective in attack and support the strikers.

“It was a siege in the final minutes and we deserved at least a draw from this performance. The first half was a struggle to find space between the lines, as USA defended well. Nowadays there are no poor sides at this level.

“We definitely should’ve picked up the pace when moving the ball around to create space for our strikers. Apart from the disappointment for a home defeat, I don’t feel too worried by this setback when the Nazionale is going into the Euros to do well.”

It was an experimental side, as Giuseppe Rossi and Antonio Cassano are injured, while Mario Balotelli was dropped for breaking the code of ethics with his Premier League ban.

“Rossi, Cassano and Balotelli would be important for any national team, but those who played today were just a few cm away from getting several goals.

“A little tiredness from the campaign is understandable, but when stepping on to the field for Italy you really cannot think about who Milan or Juve will play in a few days. We have always given our all for the jersey, even if the result is not always positive.”

Chiellini was a second half substitute and went into a central role, moving Angelo Ogbonna to the left.

“I could’ve gone centre-back, but I expect the Coach wanted to test Ogbonna in both centre-back and left-back positions.”

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