Italy forward Luca Toni insisted on Wednesday that Italy must beat Romania on Friday or face elimination from Euro 2008.
The world champions suffered a shock 3-0 defeat in their opening Group C match against The Netherlands on Monday, a result that leaves them in a desperate position.
If they lose their next match, they will be out of the tournament.
Toni, who had an oustanding season with German champions Bayern Munich, defended the way his team played against the Dutch, insisting it wasn't as bad as the result suggests.
“The 3-0 score was really hard on us and honestly, on the pitch we didn't deserve to lose by that,” he said. “The difference wasn't as big as that.
“Now we have to regroup against Romania. We are the same group of players that won in Scotland to qualify and we have to all concentrate on the same objective.
“We were really annoyed in the changing rooms but there's two more games to play – we lost the battle but not the war.”
Toni said the team would have to be more clinical in their next matches.
“At half-time we talked among ourselves and in the second half we played with a different mentality but it was already too late.
“We had six or seven chances against the Netherlands but we didn't score.
“Romania will play defensively and we won't get many chances – the important thing will be to score.”
As Italy desperately tried to claw their way back into Monday's match, coach Roberto Donadoni threw on Alessandro Del Piero and Antonio Cassano into the attack, but Toni said it was the whole's team's mentality that changed in the second half.
“With Del Piero and Cassano we were more attacking but when they came on in the second half the whole team was playing a more attacking game.” he said.
“Against Romania we can't afford to slip up, we must play a great match.
“We're very annoyed, if we lose we'll be out. We have to win whether we play well or not.”
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