Sunday, 11 October 2009

Lippi calls for improvement

Italy coach Macello Lippi says the Azzurri need to step up their game when the FIFA World Cup comes round.

Macello LippiThe 2-2 draw with the Republic of Ireland secured their place in South Africa next year, although it was far from an impressive display in Dublin.

Lippi, who led the country to the World Cup in 2006 in his first spell in charge, wants to crank the tempo up in the build up to the competition, and also revealed he could make a few new additions to the squad.

"We want to defend our title and that means doing a lot better," he said. "If we want to win the World Cup again, we have to step up the tempo now.

"Italy, like all the big nations, never go to these tournaments just to take part. We want to defend our title and that means doing better than we have done so far.

"It'll mean beating stronger sides than we've faced in qualifying. We will try to follow the same path we took four years ago. It costs nothing to dream.

"Overall I am convinced this group has all the qualities needed, but that's not to say there won't be a few introductions."

The world champions, who can now look forward to the draw on December 4, conclude their qualifying campaign with a home match against Cyprus in Parma on Wednesday night.

Giovanni Trappottoni's Ireland secured runners-up spot in Group Eight with the draw, and will have to face a play-off tie next month to qualify for the finals.

Source: Sky Sports

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