UEFA Nations League 2022-23: 'We need these wins, so we can grow' - Mancini after Italy eclipses England
Italy returned to its winning ways, eclipsing England 1-0 in the UEFA Nations League on Friday. The Blues would be eager to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2024. Meanwhile, Italy boss Roberto Mancini was critical of this much-needed success.
Despite being the reigning European champion, Italy has received a heavy slap after failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. While the debate on whether continental champions should earn direct entry to the World Cup persists, the Blues aim to seal their place in the UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany. They would love to finish the job by putting on an impressive performance in the ongoing UEFA Nations League. On Friday, it trumped England 1-0 at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, stepping up a foot ahead in its bid. The hosts head coach Roberto Mancini was critical of this victory.
"We rebooted in June and were always in the running in this Nations League group. We need these games and these wins so that we can grow. I expected a good performance and knew it would be difficult because many of tonight's lads are inexperienced at this level, with not even 30 per cent of England's caps. Still, I think we won deservedly," Mancini recorded after the triumph, reports Fotmob.
"I don't think we threw anything away. Football has an element of luck to it. We won the Euros on penalties. We deserved to win it, then failed to qualify for the World Cup. After two games, we dominated and did not win against Switzerland. We made mistakes, too; that is obvious. I don't know if today was our best performance in the Nations League. We did well against Hungary and Germany, too," added Mancini.
On being questioned about how difficult it was to tame England, Mancini replied, "It's always satisfying to beat England, but especially after the difficult time we've had recently, it takes a little pressure off, which is important. In my opinion, England is one of the best teams in the world and will have a good chance at the tournament. I don't think they will care too much about the relegation."