Mon 23 January 2023 | 12:51

Roberto Mancini urges Italians to change their mentality about young players

Italy manager, Roberto Mancini has urged Italian football to change its mentality about young players.

Mancini who become


’s manager in 2018 managed to guide them to win the Euro 2020, but they failed to qualify for the

2022 World Cup.

In the Salone d’Onore of CONI conference,


spoke about how he managed his team in the early stages of the COVID pandemic.

“It wasn’t an easy time, we had to prepare for important matches. Every day we did tests but without knowing if we could count on the players.

“I believe that athletes when they reach a certain level are prepared to handle certain situations. As children they leave home and start solving problems, they are already ‘vaccinated’. They are ready.

“It wasn’t all that easy, we had difficulties like making the line-up two days before the competition and then there were a couple of positive cases.”

Mancini said Italian football should change its mindset about young players.

“In football it’s more difficult than in volleyball, basketball or water polo. In Italy we have to change our mentality and think that 18-19 year olds can play at the highest level.

“We have to give them confidence. We have to give them the chance to make mistakes and to be called up by the national teams.

“The U21, for example, arrive at the end of the two-year period with 23-year-old players and some of them don’t play with the first team, so it’s hard for us to look for talent.”

Former Manchester City manager explained the importance of his backroom staff and the role they played in the Euro 2020.

“The staff are fundamental. You can’t do everything yourself, I delegate enough. I am democratic. The staff are made up of people who not only work but also have the opportunity to talk to the players and receive feedback that they do not share with the coach. And that can be useful.

“The meetings we have before matches are important. We spend little time with the players during the year, but if there isn’t a good relationship it becomes difficult.

“Our atmosphere for example was always extraordinary at the European Championship where we were not the best team. But we had an incredible level also thanks to a great staff.”

Mancini also talked about Italy’s objectives in 2023.

“We must try to redeem ourselves. It will be an important year with the Nations League finals and the qualifying matches for the next European Championship, we have to make as few mistakes as possible.”

source: SportMob

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