9 September 2014 23:38
Antonio Conte is refusing to get carried away following a perfect start to his tenure as Italy coach.
Conte’s men followed up a 2-0 win over Netherlands last week by beating Norway by the same scoreline in the 45-year-old’s first competitive fixture on Tuesday.
Goals from Simone Zaza and Leonardo Bonucci earned the points as Italy began their Euro 2016 Group H qualifying campaign perfectly.
But Conte, who arrived with much fanfare having guided Juventus to three successive Serie A titles, knows there is plenty of hard work still ahead.
“It was an important match and certainly not easy, as we hadn’t won in Norway for decades, so these are always tricky games,” Conte told Rai Sport.
“I think in nine days we have done some great things with these lads. Now we have to get to know each other better, progress and improve.”
While Conte is still seeking further improvement, he was pleased with Italy’s showing in Oslo.
He added: “I don’t recall Buffon getting his gloves dirty, whereas we created many dangerous opportunities to round out the scoreline. It won’t be easy for anyone to play here in Norway, so I am satisfied.
“We’re doing well, these lads want to apply my vision of football: sometimes we did that better, other times not so much. I liked the attempt to play from the back and take advantage of spaces behind the Norwegian defence.
“In tactical terms I think you could see some very good situations, including the goals. I am happy with what the lads have given me, as they are prepared to work.
“There were seven players who didn’t take part in the last World Cup game, many of the squad are 23 or 24 years old. I always look to the pitch and those who deserve it will play.”