Conte: “Italy are improving, but we should have won this game”

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Here are the declarations of Italy Head Coach Antonio Conte after the draw against Romania on Tuesday 17 November 2015 at the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium in Bologna, Italy.  Italy 2 – 2 Romania.

Conte saying, “These are games that you have to win, no question about it.  We conceded today two goals from only two attempts. We are disappointed about that, because it’s clear that we deserved to win. Our good performance is something positive to take from the game, but it’s a shame that we couldn’t get the win, conceding the equaliser with only two minutes left. We were quite tense at the beginning, and we went behind almost immediately. Then we started to relax a bit. My players gave their all, but I’ll emphasise once again that you have to win when you create as many chances as we did.”

The friendly against Romania was Italy’s final game in 2015, and there’s now a very long break before they next take to the field. “Hopefully there won’t be any more injuries between now and then,” concluded Conte. “We have a group of players who deserve to be here. We now have two important friendlies against Spain and Germany, and we’ll prepare for them in the best way possible. Italy are always exciting to watch.”

Italy forward Stephan El Shaarawy: “We were absolutely dominant in this game,” the Monaco winger explained. “We created a lot of chances and all in all, it was a positive performance. In any case, you have to put the bad games like this behind you. We could have scored the third goal, but we weren’t able to convert the chances we created, and they punished us for that. We were very focused at the start of the game, even though I have to admit we were still very shocked about the events last Friday in Paris.”

Chiellini made his 82nd appearance for Italy tonight, in doing so becoming one of the ten most capped players in Azzurri history. It’s a huge achievement for the defender, who commented: “I’m happy about it; it’s an important milestone, but what matters more is winning with this shirt on. The European Championship is now approaching, and we wanted to get more out of these two friendlies.

The final score wasn’t the most important thing, but it’s vital that we keep improving. We should have been able to put a game like this to bed, and we need to improve in that regard. We don’t have a lot of time to work on things, but I’m confident that we can get to where we need to be. The next time we meet up will be just two months before the European Championship. We’ll have to be persistent as we look to tweak the small things that can end up making all the difference.”