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Mancini: ‘I’ve been working on this new Italy’

Roberto Mancini complimented Gianluigi Donnarumma and explained how he’s been working on his Azzurri squad following their 2-0 win over Hungary. Italy have looked much improved in recent games, winning their two Nations League matches back to back with improved performances.

Speaking after the match, Mancini offered his assessment of the match and what worked for his players:

“It was a difficult game, It was all perfect until the final 20 minutes. We really need to improve in our ability to control the game for 90 minutes, as we worked so hard to be 2-0 up, so suffering like that in the final 20 minutes just makes no sense. We should’ve kept pushing for a third goal.

I lost my voice because I was shouting so much in the final 20 minutes…”

Gigio did well, you can tell that he’s playing regularly at Paris Saint-Germain now and that sense of confidence shows. I am happy, because I wanted to get these two victories over England and Hungary to qualify, and we put in two good performances.

Dimarco did really well, he attacked, defended and has a really clean way of crossing the ball. I don’t have a basic tactical system, we can play in any system, it’s just a question of practice. Many of the players in the squad already play 3-5-2 at club level.

A few things do change, for instance the two strikers are much closer together than in a 4-3-3, and the defence also moves. The wing-backs pushed well today and it’s good to have options we can choose from.

The fans were extraordinary, they cheered on Hungary from start to finish and I want to thank them for their applause towards us too. Marco Rossi is doing an amazing job, it’s not a fluke if you beat both England and Germany.

There were players who were on the bench today and could feature then, but this generally is the squad. It’s not about experiments, I’ve been working on the ‘new’ Italy for a while already. Qualification for the Final Four might not seem like much right now, but in June it might seem better.

“We had two kids upfront tonight, so if these lads maintain that quality and improve over the next two years, they can become devastating.”

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