EURO 2012

Prandelli: Italy are suffering

Cesare Prandelli hopes his team can bounce back in time for Euro 2012.
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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli believes the defeat to Russia will only make his team stronger ahead of the European Championship.

BRICK WALL

Click here to see more from Italy's captain, Gianluigi Buffon.

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The Azzurri lost 3-0 in Zurich in their last test before Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

"We have suffered a lot," Prandelli said. "We have made many mistakes and we hope that we have used them all.

"Russia were better than us physically, from an intensity and temperament point of view.

"Perhaps losing in this manner can help us as we return to work in order to improve."

Italy went into the game after a nightmare week.

A match-fixing scandal disrupted their preparations, with Prandelli dropping Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito from the squad after he was put under investigation.

The team's friendly against Luxembourg in Parma was also canceled on Tuesday because of an earthquake in northern Italy.

"Right now we are a team that is suffering a lot," Prandelli said.

On the pitch, Italy had only conceded two goals in qualifying but they showed worrying signs defensively against Russia.

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"It's not an issue of a given line but of the whole team," he said. "If you don't defend well as a team then you struggle."

Italy defender Christian Maggio hopes his side can put this loss, the Azzurri's third consecutive friendly defeat, behind them.

"Honestly, it has been a terrible night," he said. "I hope it is the last and we can do much better in the next game.

"A lot of things have not gone the way we wanted and we really wanted to do well before we started the European Championship.

"We still have a few days to improve. Our minds are on the Euros and not on what has happened this week.

"We have to understand where we went wrong and try not to make the same mistakes.

"It's clear that we cannot play the way we did against a strong team like Spain is."

Italy take on European champions and World Cup winners Spain on June 10.

They will also play against Croatia and the Republic of Ireland in Group C.

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