"We took a step back against Spain"

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Italy coach Luciano Spalletti spoke at a press conference on Sunday ahead of the third matchday of the group stage of the European Championship. The Azzurri coach believes his side took "a step back" in the match against Spain, acknowledged that players like Jorginho were not at their best and wished for an improvement ahead of the match against Croatia, in which a place in the last 16 is at stake.

3 weeks ago
Luciano Spalletti, coach of the Italian national team, told a press conference that the history of teams is shaped by defeats, such as the one his team suffered against Spain, and said he believes his players are ready to face Croatia in a do-or-die duel to reach the last 16 of the European Championship.
Spalletti acknowledged Spain's superiority in a defeat in which Luis de la Fuente's men gave an exhibition of football. Now, with the Balkan side on standby for the next game, he said his team will have to change things to get through to the next stage.
"There are matches that make history small or big. One's stories go through matches like that (against Spain). We are dealing with strong players. When I went to talk to them, I saw their desire to be there, which means they are available to face these challenges. I have seen behaviour that I didn't like. I didn't like the game against Spain the other night, we took a step back, but, when you are in the national team, the level is always very high," he said.
"Against Spain, we wasted too much energy chasing the ball. Against Albania, we played a completely different game. We had the same game plan in both games, but in one we managed to do what we wanted to do and in the other we just didn't do it," he added.
He acknowledged that Italy "will change" against Croatia because, he said, the Balkan side not only have a great team but a lot of experience: "We will have to be careful to assess when we need to accelerate the pace of the game and when we need to calm down and control possession. I think not making changes between the first and second game was a mistake, so I think I will make some changes this time," he said.


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