Italy will tomorrow face Portugal in what will be their second Nations League match and Head Coach Roberto Mancini has said that there will be changes following Friday’s draw to Poland. Federico Chiesa is one man in particular who will start, although the tactician failed to reveal much else about who would feature in Lisbon.
“Portugal are the reigning European Champions,” said the Head Coach during his pre-match press conference. “They’re stronger with Ronaldo, but also without him, they have some really top players. One day he will retire, but I hope that this day will be as late as possible. It’s normal for them to try new players when he isn’t around but they’re strong even without him.”
Inevitably, the Coach also discussed the draw with Poland: “Will the errors from the Poland match be repeated? There were too many technical errors in the first half, particularly in terms of passing, from which they then scored. Donnarumma also saved well from Zielinski. These were two errors that our quality shouldn’t have permitted. We need to make fewer mistakes. And then you also need to put attackers in the penalty area. Chiesa? It’s possible that he will start, yes.”
There was also criticism for Mario Balotelli following Friday’s game: “Playing badly can happen,” Mancini added. “When you play well you receive praise, but when you don’t there is plenty of criticism. It’s all part of football and also part of a footballer’s life. Everyone sees football how they want, and frankly, I am not worried.”
The Head Coach also highlighted Jorginho’s performance: “There was lots of pressure on him during the first half, but in the second he dictated play despite Zielinski’s pressure. He did extremely well after the interval. The game against Poland was the first official match with three points on offer, and sooner or later we’ll find the right formula. We need to have a bit of patience, but in Italy, patience doesn’t exist so let’s hope we can find the right formula quickly.
“I don’t know who will play tomorrow,” the Azzurri tactician concluded. “The evening always brings updates and let’s hope it’s good news. Two days isn’t much to recover. We had the trip and we’re still at the start of the season. The players aren’t in peak condition, and some changes will be made.”