Have to take risks, says Mancini
The optimism which followed Roberto Mancini's appointment as Italy coach in May quickly drained away following their 0-1 loss to Portugal on Monday as thoughts turned to Nations League relegation.
- Published 12.09.18
Milan: The optimism which followed Roberto Mancini's appointment as Italy coach in May quickly drained away following their 0-1 loss to Portugal on Monday as thoughts turned to Nations League relegation.
Mancini made nine changes to his starting line-up against the European champions as he continued his search for the right players to help him rebuild Italy following their failure to qualify for this year's World Cup.
Mancini has complained that Italian players are being squeezed out by foreigners at Serie clubs.
"It is true that we have many young players and we are in an experimental phase, however we must continue on this path and pick ourselves up as soon as possible," he said"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."
If Italy finish bottom of the three team group, they will be relegated to League B of Uefa's new competition - a price Mancini said they would have to risk paying as he continued to experiment.
"We do not like losing, it's bad, but it's also true that we have to take risks and get experience in these games," said Mancini, who emphasised that the priority was to qualify for Euro 2020.
"We knew there were problems in this squad, because otherwise Italy would have qualified for the 2018 World Cup."
The European Championship qualifying competition, which is separate from the Nations League, starts in March.