ROME, September 7 (Reuters) – Italy coach Roberto Mancini defended forward Ciro Immobile on Tuesday, saying the 31-year-old has what it takes to lead the Azzurri to glory at the upcoming World Cup of the anus.
Less than two months have passed since the Azzurri were crowned European champions, but back-to-back World Cup qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Switzerland, with a goal scored, have clouded the spirits.
Immobile couldn’t find the network in his last six appearances in Italy, prompting requests for the attack to be updated for Wednesday’s clash with Lithuania in Reggio Emilia.
“We won the European Championship with 26 players and Ciro has always been a starter. He scored in two games, other times he was close or the ball didn’t come in, ”Mancini said at a press conference.
“Of course I have to tell him to do some moves, but I don’t see a big problem. He’s always scored goals, maybe in the World Cup he’ll score eight and we’ll win it. ”
Sunday’s draw in Basel earned Italy the record for the longest international unbeaten streak in 36 games, but the stalemate means World Cup qualification as Group C champion falls far short of the mark. be guaranteed.
Italy are up with 11 points, but the Swiss are four points behind with two games down, making victory over Lithuania at the bottom of the ladder essential.
“I am not very worried. Psychologically, the players have to be fine, they have won the Eurocup and they have to play calmly, ”said Mancini.
“Sometimes the ball unfortunately doesn’t go in, and in Italy we’re going to look for someone to blame for everything.
“But we have to isolate ourselves a bit from that and do some things a little better. Then the team will continue to do what they are doing, just like Immobile. The goals will come ”.
Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, Ed Osmond edition
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