Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Lippi - Defeat part of the learning curve

Marcello Lippi admitted Italy are going though a restructuring process after seeing his team fall to a 2-0 loss to Brazil in a friendly at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Marcello LippiThe World Cup winning coach has brought in several new players over the past few months and insists recent debutants such as Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi need to be given time.

Lippi, however, is confident his team will perform in forthcoming competitive fixtures, with Montenegro first up in World Cup qualifying Group Eight on March 28.

"Matches are always tests and we only began to build the team six months ago," he said. "Little by little we'll do it.

"Some players have never played a game of such high level in their lives but they have to do it sometime, that's how they grow.

"Defeats are a natural step in building a squad and if you don't do these kind of games you can't progress."

Italy will face Brazil again this summer in the FIFA Confederations Cup, and Lippi claims they will offer more of a challenge then.

"There's a lot of time until the Confederations Cup," he added. "We know we have to improve in certain areas, and grow in other areas.

"We'll also hopefully have other players available and less tired. Now what matters is the qualifying games."

What will worry Lippi is Italy's lack of options up front.

The Azzurri attacking threat was easily contained by an impressive Brazil defence, although they improved somewhat in the second half with the introduction of Rossi and Bayern Munich targetman Luca Toni.

The Azzurri had the ball in the net twice but both efforts were ruled out. Lippi admitted Luca Toni's 65th-minute strike was correctly disallowed for handball but questioned the offside decision which ruled out Fabio Grosso's early effort.

"The first goal was a valid goal and it would have been a different match had it been allowed," he said.

Lippi admitted there were more negatives than positives to take from the match. However, he also urged fans not to forget they were playing against one of the best teams in the world.

"We were up against a group of strong Brazilians of a very high level," he said. "They were motivated in front of over 60,000 people.

"It's clear that they played technically better than us tonight; they were more motivated, more decisive, they're all good players.

"But I'm not concerned, it's a normal step in the construction of a new team.

"We shouldn't forget we were playing Brazil, it's not like we lost against one of the worst teams in the world."

Source: PA Sport

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