Euro 2012: Italy have fitness problems, says coach PrandelliJune 15th, 2012 - 4:38 am ICT by IANS
Poznan (Poland), June 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Italy have problems with fitness and these are costing the team as players flag in the final half-hour, coach Cesare Prandelli said.
A Mario Mandzukic equaliser 18 minutes from time gave Croatia a 1-1 draw against Italy Thursday, the second time in two games the Italians conceded an equaliser after the hour mark, following Cesc Fabregas’ 64th-minute equaliser in the opening 1-1 draw with Spain.
“Looking at the two games, there has been a notable drop in our level on 60 minutes,” Prandelli said.
He said the remedy was simple.
“For the first 60 minutes, we were very well organised, there was not much space between the front line and the defensive line, but when the game gets stretched and there is more distance, that’s when we start to struggle.”
“I don’t think we lack character, I think we lack fresh legs.”
Forward Mario Balotelli was substituted on the 70th consecutive game also due to the lack of fitness, Prandelli said.
With four points from two games, Croatia have a strong chance of reaching the quarterfinals, while Italy must beat Ireland Monday to avoid an embarrassing early exit.
Ahead of Euro 2012, Italy suffered three defeats in a row for the first time since 1986, with 1-0 friendly defeats to Uruguay and the US, and a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Russia.
- Euro 2012: Mandzukic strike help Croatia draw 1-1 with Italy - Jun 15, 2012
- Euro 2012: Mandzukic strike help Croatia draw 1-1 with Italy (Lead) - Jun 15, 2012
- Euro 2012: Italy coach Prandelli applauds 'unique' Balotelli - Jun 29, 2012
- Euro 2012: Croatia beat Ireland 3-1 - Jun 11, 2012
- Euro 2012: Last-gasp Navas goal sends Spain through, Croatia out - Jun 19, 2012
- Euro 2012: Cassano and Balotelli send Italy to quarters - Jun 19, 2012
- Euro 2012: Italy were 'cleverer' than Germany, says Loew - Jun 29, 2012
- Italy to meet Germany in semis after beating England (Lead) - Jun 25, 2012
- Racial abuse reported against Balotelli at Euro 2012 - Jun 16, 2012
- Euro 2012: Spain beat Portugal 4-2 on penalties, reach final - Jun 28, 2012
- Euro 2012: Cassano 'fantastic' despite lack of fitness, says Italy coach - Jun 29, 2012
- Euro 2012 Group C Preview: Ireland may decide who survive - Jun 05, 2012
- Euro 2012: Buffon hopes for one more shock from Italy - Jul 01, 2012
- Spain always play the same way: Italy coach - Jun 10, 2012
- Fabregas grabs 1-1 draw for Spain against Italy - Jun 11, 2012
Tags: 60 minutes, balotelli, cesare prandelli, cesc fabregas, consecutive game, defensive line, early exit, euro 2012, four points, half hour, italians, legs, mario, poznan poland, quarterfinals, remedy, ria novosti, russia, second time, two games