Antonio Conte blasts Serie A clubs for not helping Italian national side
Antonio Conte says he is delighted with the progress Italy have been making during his tenure, but has voiced his disappointment with Serie A clubs.
Just 48 hours after a 1-1 Euro 2016 qualifier draw against Croatia, Italy extended their unbeaten start under Conte thanks to an 82nd-minute header from substitute Stefano Okaka, beating Albania 1-0 in a friendly on Tuesday.
It was far from a convincing performance, however, with Albania impressing and coming close to taking the lead after Sokol Cikalleshi's fierce 30-yard effort in the 38th minute hit the woodwork.
But given the short turnaround, Conte was content with the performance.
"We've won five of our six games," Conte told RAI Sport.
"Some might sneer, but my lads want to play and to get into the national team. We just have to keep working.
"I very much liked the effort of the lads, as in a day and a half we prepared against an Albania side that played its first choice team.
"We proved that if we want to, we can achieve anything."
Nevertheless, Conte expressed his annoyance with Serie A clubs, who he feels are not helping the national team spend time together.
"It requires patience to grow as it is not a good moment for Italian football, but even then, we won five and drew one.
"We will try to work, to have a few meetings and to understand the situation in general.
"I need to work with these lads, as being without them for four months is a problem.
"If the national team comes at the bottom of the pile, then at least let's state that and everyone can take responsibility for that situation."