Mancini on his first year as Head Coach: "I would like to win something with the Azzurri""We’re pleased that the fans are enjoying it more when the National Team play now," said the boss when speaking to Radio 24.
Thursday, May 2, 2019
On 14 May, Roberto Mancini will celebrate his first full year as Head Coach of the National Team and he’s since discussed the first 12 months with Radio 24: "It was great, exciting year. We’re pleased that the fans are enjoying it more when the National Team play now. I arrived at the most difficult point in the last 50 years and we thought that we’d have to do something not just for the present, but also for the future. We’ve called up young players like Zaniolo, who’s since become a starter at Roma."
The team’s aim is to qualify for EURO 2020, the first European Championship that will take place across 12 cities –Rome being one of them. Following two games against Finland and Liechtenstein, Italy will now return to action on 8 and 11 June against Greece and Bosnia: "The next two matches will be extremely important," Mancini added, who today received praise from FIGC President Gabriele Gravina and CONI President Giovanni Malagò. "We have a year to improve and and reach the Euros with the aim of winning. Our journey so far has been good. We were quick in putting together a competitive squad, but we must still improve on certain things. We play a lot of balls but we score little compared to how much we create, apart from the last two games. We must make fewer mistakes in front of goal, one incident can change an entire game." As for his transition from Azzurri player to Coach, he said: "I played for every single National Team coming through as a player and I’m sorry not to have won anything. I’d like to win as a Coach."
As for the young players coming through, Mancini has already given immediate opportunities to both Nicolò Zaniolo and Moise Kean: "I see Zaniolo as a mezzala. He’s skilful and can shoot. He can do everything. He’s now going through a drop in fitness which is normal, but he’s a player of great potential. Kean is still a young player, he does some things that he shouldn’t but then scores goals. He could become devastating physically, he can become a great striker." As for Lorenzo Insigne and Mario Balotelli: "Insigne must remain calm," Mancini said. "He can still do a lot more with his quality. Tricky moments pass, he just needs to keep working. I know Mario very well. I expect him to improve not only in his goalscoring. He must battle, he needs to work hard and look to receive fewer bookings."