Wednesday, 12 September 2007

[Reaction] Donadoni silences critics

Roberto Donadoni has criticised the media for piling unnecessary pressure on his squad after the 2-1 win against Ukraine.

"We knew it was going to be tough and that no results can be taken for granted. I expect the next game will also be classed as the last chance saloon, but we know what the media are like by now. It’s all hot air.

"Thanks to the entire squad as they are the ones who achieved this result and no-one else," said the coach when asked about Antonio Di Natale’s double.

The Azzurri were under pressure in Kiev, but fought back after Andriy Shevchenko’s equaliser to secure the three points.

"We showed great character and temperament. We know that we are still a step behind the other teams at this stage of the season in terms of fitness, but nobody beats us in character."

The victory puts Italy on 20 points in Group B and all but rules Ukraine out of the running for Euro 2008, but France and Scotland are still in the thick of it.

"There are still some games to go and this result definitely improves our position, but it’s going to be a close group all the way," concluded Donadoni.

Defender Gianluca Zambrotta conceded that perhaps Italy would have preferred Scotland not to beat France in the other game, as it further complicates Group B.

The surprise 1-0 victory secured by James McFadden in Paris puts the Scots top of the Euro 2008 qualifying group with 21 points, while the Azzurri leapfrog France to go second on 20 and Les Bleus remain on 19 points.

"The fact we still have to go and play in Scotland means this may or may not be a positive result. We are now second, but there are three games to go and the journey to qualification is still long," said Zambrotta.

"We are in a complex group with three teams who are among the top in Europe and France and Italy are the best in the world, having faced off for the World Cup Final a year ago.

"They will be three Finals. We passed the test tonight and were perhaps not as sharp as we would have liked, but the important thing was to win."

[Match Report] - [Group B Round-up]

Source: C4 Football Italia

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