Italy coach Roberto Donadoni has called on his players to bounce back from their heavy opening game defeat to Holland.
The Italians went down 3-0 to a rampant Dutch side in their opening Group C fixture at Euro 2008, a result which has seriously damaged their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals.
With Romania and France still to come in the ‘Group of Death’, Donadoni is under immediate immense pressure to lead a recovery.
The former Milan midfielder admits that his side deserved to take nothing from the game against Holland, but he refuses to throw in the towel just yet
“It has just been one of those nights, now we must look forward. It’s hard but you must be optimistic. There are other games (to play),” the coach said.
“In the first-half, we conceded two goals, from mistakes, but despite that we were not overrun by Holland.
“We have made mistakes in our approach to the game, but the guys will respond positively.
“We were also short on luck throughout the game.
“I don’t deny the facts, we have not started well, but we must look forward to the next two matches and try to do our best.”
“Against Romania (on Friday), we have to recover our mental strength.”
Donadoni refused to blame a controversial first goal for Italy’s defeat.
Ruud van Nistelrooy appeared to be offside when he turned the ball home although Italy defender Christian Panucci was lying behind the byline at the time.
“I don’t like to talk about referees’s decisions. A goal is a goal and it is impossible to change the decision,” Donadoni told a news conference after the Group C tie.
“We accept it.”