Di Biagio: We’ve made a start

Interim Italian boss Luigi Di Biagio feels Italy have already improved following his short spell in charge of the team.

The 46-year-old Italy U21 boss took temporary charge of the team following Gian Piero Ventura’s sacking after their failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Di Biagio was tasked with guiding Italy in two friendly matches – the first ending a 2-0 loss to Argentina, before securing a 1-1 draw with England.

Speaking after the England encounter, Di Biagio said: “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.

“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.”

Italian Football Federation vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta has, meanwhile, revealed that a new head coached will be announced on May 20.

Di Biagio added that he doesn’t know yet what role he may have, if any.

“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.

“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 take 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.”