Mancini: “The goals are a problem, we must find the right solutions”

Mancini: “The goals are a problem, we must find the right solutions”

“The players gave all they could, but to win you need to score goals so we must find a remedy,” said Roberto Mancini at the end of Monday’s match. Following the draw with Poland, Italy this evening suffered their first Nations League defeat away to Portugal. “When you reach certain levels it is only natural to struggle. Our fitness will be better in October and this is positive. However, the issue of goals is still there and we must resolve it. We made mistakes, and we must try to limit them and also give our all. You always need to score to win, so you need to find the right solutions.” 

As for the loss in Lisbon, it could prove decisive with Italy now being at risk of relegation to Group B: “We must grow,” Mancini continued. “If a young player doesn’t play at a high level then it’s clear that they’ll struggle in the first few games, however, we knew this before. Portugal now has an advantage over us thanks to this win, but there are still games to play and everything is still wide-open. I didn’t enjoy the defeat, but I did like the team’s desire to keep trying right until the end, even if they were at risk of conceding a second goal. This was the right attitude to have. We don’t want to be relegated and we still want to finish among the top teams in the group. Poland and Portugal have three matches left and we have two. Let’s see what happens.” 

There was clear disappointment among the Azzurri, with Bonaventura admitting that “there is work to do together” but that “this team has the quality to do well.” He added: “We are disappointed. We gave it our all and we tried to trouble Portugal, but we didn’t succeed. Italy didn’t play badly and I think that we can go up against this Portugal team. Obviously, we should’ve done better, but I didn’t see much difference between us and Portugal.” 

Simone Zaza also highlighted the issue of goals: “Against a strong team, the reigning European Champions, we played well and at times we dominated the match. We had our chances but if you don’t score goals then it becomes difficult to draw or win matches. Inexperience? When a player arrives in the National Team, then one must always give their all. To wear this shirt is a real responsibility. It is true that we have many young players and we are in a phase of experimentation, however, we must continue on this path and pick ourselves up as soon as possible.” 

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