Mancini: Losing to Poland would not be the end of the world

Published on: 13 October 2018

Italy are at risk of being relegated from League A of the UEFA Nations League and need to avoid defeat away to Poland on Sunday but Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini doesn’t appear overly concerned by the threat of dropping down a grade.

A draw with Poland and a defeat to Portugal leaves Italy bottom of Group 3 but Mancini insists that the focus for his side is European Championship qualification.

“It [relegation] would not change anything at all,” Mancini said in his pre-match press conference on Saturday.

“England or Croatia may also be relegated.

“It will be fine in the end and if it doesn’t go well [against Poland] it won’t be the end of the world.”

Italy have had problems getting their strikers scoring of late, but Mancini has taken inspiration from Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli side and says they can thrive without a traditional No.9.

“To win you have to score goals so we have to find a way to score,” he said. “A striker is important in a team but we can find a solution without one.

“Sarri did it with Napoli and it was a perfect solution, but his team also played well with [Gonzalo] Higuain.

“In Genoa we played well for an hour and then it changed, but not because those who came on did anything wrong.”

Despite the negativity surrounding the national team, Mancini remains confident that he can assemble a strong squad for the European Championship qualifiers.

“It takes time to construct a group who can do great things together.

“We will have no problems putting together a team for the European Championship.”