Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has defended his side following media criticism of their performance against Armenia.
Prandelli was pleased with Friday’s 3-1 World Cup qualifying win in Yerevan but the Italian press felt otherwise.
“The newspapers make it look as if we didn’t put in a good performance, but that certainly didn’t seem to be the case to me,” Prandelli told reporters.
“We are coming off the back of the Euro 2012 final and because of that some people think we ought to win every match 3-0.”
Midfielder Claudio Marchisio also believed that his side’s performance in Armenia was strong and went on to suggest that the media may have underestimated the strength of Italy’s opponents.
“(The match) against Armenia was a very important victory,” he said.
“I’m sure the teams they play in the near future will find it difficult. Armenia is not a team that should be underestimated.”
Italy star Mario Balotelli missed the game through illness but Prandelli suggested that the Manchester City striker could return for Tuesday’s qualifier at home to Denmark.
“Mario had a very strong cough in Armenia and was struggling to breathe, so he was in no condition to play. If he is in good shape today, then he will train with the others,” Prandelli said.