Antonio Conte was only concerned about the result as Italy produced an unremarkable display but still clinched a slender 1-0 win over Malta in Thursday’s Euro 2016 qualifier.
After Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan earlier in the day, Italy were given the opportunity to go level on 15 points with the Group H leaders if they could emerge victorious, which ultimately they managed to do.
Italy were frustrated for long periods of the match and saw a host of fine opportunities go to waste before Graziano Pelle finally broke the deadlock with 21 minutes to play.
“No one gives you anything here [in international football],” Conte told Rai Sport. “Playing against Azerbaijan and Malta is tough, as experienced by Croatia today.
“Everywhere football is evolving and there is no such thing as a team you just walk over.
“The only thing that mattered was to win and unfortunately when you do not make the most of all your chances, the result remains uncertain.
“We won, it is a balanced group that we are now at the top of and I hope to get another victory against Bulgaria [on Sunday].”