Spalletti Trusts Italy Euro 2024 Qualification Despite England Loss

Luciano Spalletti tasted the first defeat of his Azzurri career as England emerged from a goal down to win 3-1 at Wembley, with Harry Kane’s brace and Marcus Rashford doing the job for the Three Lions. The defeat puts the Azzurri’s path to Euro 2024 in jeopardy, but Spalletti is confident in his side’s ability to pull through and qualify.

The ex-Napoli boss shared his thoughts following the full-time whistle in England.

“Am I afraid that the group might suffer a bit of anxiety in terms of qualifying? I don’t fear anything, and I would be surprised if my players did. It’s a normal thing to go and play matches where there’s no hope. We have the quality to measure up with everyone. It’s not this result that tells us that we can’t dare and we can’t go and play football like we’re trying to do.” (via Tuttomercatoweb)

Spalletti then delved into specifics of what should or could change in terms of Italy’s playing style.

“Our intent is right there. We have to defend the long ball correctly; otherwise, we have to overturn everything and talk about other things. But this won’t happen: we will continue to play in the same way.”

“It’s clear that there are moments where we need to be patient and wait. Go strong, make real tackles, play in the wide spaces, have rhythm and intensity throughout the match: then in that there’s room for the the solo plays, the intuitions and the management of some situations where you also have to be good.”

Italy sit third in Group C, six behind leaders England. They face two must-win games against Ukraine and North Macedonia next, with the duo at either side of the Azzurri up and down the table. There remains just one more automatic qualification spot after England all but sealed theirs.

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