Italy head coach Giampiero Ventura has refused to rule out resigning if his side lose to Macedonia at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on Friday.
The Azzurri need just a point from their final two Group G games to claim second place, with Spain’s iron grip on top spot unlikely to be loosened.
Italy travel to Albania on Monday for their final group game, but Ventura remained tight-lipped about whether he would be in charge if his side were to suffer a shock defeat to the Macedonians.
At his pre-match press conference, he said: “Will I resign if we lose to Macedonia? We’re already playing for the playoffs. Maybe no-one knows, but that’s how it is.”
— Italy (@azzurri) October 5, 2017
Ventura has demanded “desire and enthusiasm” from his side ahead of the double header to put them in the healthiest position possible for the play-offs, which take place in November.
“Team and formation? Beyond those things, I’m interested in desire and enthusiasm,” he added.
“The players have always made themselves available and got involved. We’ve already picked up 18 points, but we have to do more and pick up at least two more to have a good position in the playoffs.
“This week was one of the best in terms of preparation. This is a very good group from a technical point of view, but also in terms of character.”
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