Prandelli satisfied with San Marino win

The Azzurri coach wants his side’s tempo to improve ahead of a World Cup qualifier and the Confederations Cup and praised the attitude of substitute Mario Balotelli

Cesare Prandelli has declared his satisfaction after Italy beat San Marino 4-0 on Friday, but admitted that improvements are needed ahead of the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic and the Confederation Cup.

Goals from Andrea Poli, Alberto Gilardino, Andrea Pirlo and Alberto Aquilani ensured that the Azzurri eased past the minnows, who were never expected to challenge the Euro 2012 finalists.

Prandelli refused to be drawn on which seven players he would be omitting from the 23-man Italy squad that he will take to Brazil in June for the Confederations Cup and merely praised the squad for their application in the friendly victory.

“It was not simple, as when there are no spaces you need to be quick. We had four or five tough days of training and I am satisfied with what I saw,” he told Rai Sport.

“We need to improve the tempo when we start moves from the back, but physically we’re in good shape. I cannot name names now, as I wanted to see some players in action and they all deserve to be here, but I have to make choices.

“I am happy that all these lads respond well whenever they are called upon and have the right approach to representing their country.”

Prandelli praised the performance of Mario Balotelli, who was brought off the bench in the friendly and hit the crossbar.

“Balotelli really wanted to score and I liked his attitude,” he added. “He must always step on to the field to do well.

“Our objective tonight [Friday] was to play against a team that didn’t give us spaces, but we also stayed focused as we never allowed them a counter-attack.”

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