New Italy coach Roberto Mancini admits his side will need to do more against stronger outfits after securing a 2-1 friendly victory over Saudi Arabia in his debut.
The former Zenit boss only recently took over, and goals from Mario Balotelli and Andrea Belotti ensured it was a winning start – though some poor defending led to an avoidable goal for the opposition.
While Mancini was pleased with the Azzurri’s display in the first half, he believes fatigue was the reason for some sloppy play after the restart.
“We played well during the opening 45 minutes,” he told reporters after the contest. “Then we had some struggles due to fatigue. We made some mistakes and that allowed Saudi Arabia back in the match.
“Our performance, especially against better teams, must improve. We aren’t scared, and we did some good things.
“I will make several changes against France, as the youngsters will play.”
Balotelli netted in his first Italy appearance in four years, and Mancini expects to see more from the Nice striker in the future.
“He can do much more,” he stated. “However it was important for him to score.”
Italy’s next match is a friendly against France on Friday.