Mancini denies Italy has attacking issues

With Andrea Belotti and Mario Balotelli left out of the Italy squad over poor form, coach Roberto Mancini was forced to defend his options.

Published : Oct 10, 2018 07:50 IST

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini
Italy head coach Roberto Mancini

Italy head coach Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini says that Italy does not have issues in attack as it prepares for games against Ukraine and Poland.

Italy called up Kevin Lasagna as a replacement for Simone Zaza even though the Udinese striker only has one Serie A goal to his name this season, with uncapped Sampdoria forward Gianluca Caprari also included in the squad for the first time.

The Azzurri is without Torino's Andrea Belotti and Nice striker Mario Balotelli, both of whom were omitted by Mancini due to their poor form, while Toronto forward Sebastian Giovinco was recalled after three years.

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However, speaking to the media prior to Wednesday's friendly with Ukraine, Mancini preferred to highlight the development of some of his players, including Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi.

"There is no problem in attack. We have called up more players. Lasagna from Udinese will arrive tonight and we had already called several strikers," Mancini told a pre-match news conference.

"The league always gives us something; the fact that Insigne has changed a bit in the last few games and continues to be an important player, Bernardeschi keeps improving. And today, I think the players are better, I'm only sorry to have lost four to five players to injury."

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Ahead of the game in Genoa, Mancini and his players visited the site of the Morandi Bridge collapse in the city, paying their respects to the 43 people who died on August 14.

"When you get there, it's a terrible thing. You can see it on TV, which is not so beautiful. But, when you get there, you see that missing piece of bridge and think about what happened. For me, Genoa is a piece of life, it's a terrible thing," Mancini said.

"There are children who have lost their father or mother, or both of them, and I think it's a huge tragedy. In the meantime, bring a little joy to the Genoese people who will come to the stadium and a victory is always happy, and I hope the team will have a good game."

Danilo D'Ambrosio, Alessio Romagnoli and Patrick Cutrone were all named in Mancini's initial squad, but withdrew, with Zaza ruled out through injury.

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