Giampiero Ventura suggested Italy’s struggles against Macedonia were down to a lack of experience.
Italy were facing the humiliating prospect of losing to a side ranked 133 places below them in the FIFA world rankings in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Skopje when they trailed 2-1 with 15 minutes remaining.
However, Ciro Immobile scored twice in the last quarter of an hour – including an injury-time winner – to rescue a 3-2 win that leaves Italy on seven points from three Group G matches.
Head coach Ventura believes Italy showed they have the fighting spirit required to be a top team and expects his young side to learn from their mistakes.
“About 90 per cent of our mistakes were down to a lack of experience and, if you can say that, superficiality,” he told Rai Sport.
“It requires patience when you have a lot of young players on the pitch.
“The fightback showed great character. We had 10-15 minutes of confusion in which we were not a team, but we got back together and went out to find this victory.
“This is further proof that we can achieve something very good.”