Italy are not as bad as people say they are, insists interim boss Di Biagio

Luigi Di Biagio is confident the next Italy coach will have plenty to work with after enjoying a "fantastic 10 days" in temporary charge of the national team.

Italy are not as bad as people say they are, insists interim boss Di Biagio

Italy are not as bad as people say they are, insists interim boss Di Biagio

Di Biagio was promoted from his role as Under-21s boss on an interim basis for the friendly fixtures against Argentina and England, losing the first 2-0 before salvaging a 1-1 draw at Wembley on Tuesday.

Lorenzo Insigne converted an 87th-minute penalty to make sure Italy – who lost to Sweden in the play-offs to miss out on qualifying for the World Cup – avoided drawing a blank for a fourth successive outing.

While he failed to mark his brief spell in charge with a win, the stand-in boss saw enough to suggest the future looks bright for the Azzurri.

"It was a fantastic 10 days. I knew some of the lads already. They all gave me all they could and I thanked them before the match for their commitment," said Di Biagio.

"I think this is a starting point. I hope people say we should start by defending well but if you don’t go out to play well you will not grow.

"This group must be allowed to grow. There were mistakes, yes, but they were trying. Most of the mistakes happened because they were trying to do what I asked them to do. 

"It is better to make mistakes trying to build play than not even trying."

Di Biagio admitted to being unsure if he will still be at the helm when the squad get together at the end of May.

Italian Football Federation vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta revealed the identity of the next boss will be announced on May 20.

"I don’t know if I'll be there. This is not the problem at the moment, this is not what I'm concentrating on," added Di Biagio, who won 31 caps for Italy.

"If I'm going to be there I'll carry on with my ideas and my concepts – play football, win the ball back in the opposition half and tale the game to the opponents.

"This group of players are Italy, they are very good and need to know they are good. They are not as bad as people say they are.

"They are Italy, they need to understand they can do well. Whether it is with me, I am not concerned about that at the moment."

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