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Prandelli: Russia defeat could help Italy at Euro 2012

The 54-year-old concedes that there is a lot of work for the Azzurri to do before the Euros start and admits that the defeat may have a positive impact on the team

ITALY
GROUP C
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
P
PTS
 ITALY 10 26
 ESTONIA
10 16
 SERBIA 10 15
 SLOVENIA 10 14
 NORTHERN IRELAND
10 9
 FAROE ISLANDS
10 4

Cesare Prandelli
believes that Italy's 3-0 friendly defeat against Russia on Friday will be a valuable lesson for his team at Euro 2012.

A goal from Aleksandr Kerzhakov and a double from Roman Shirokov, all in the second half, stunned the Azzurri in what was their final warm-up match before the start of the Euros.

After the game, Prandelli rued his side's defensive errors, but admitted to having mixed feelings about the result.

"We suffered so much," he told Rai. "We made too many mistakes, but we hope that we got them all out of the way tonight.

"Russia were stronger than us, in terms of physical sharpness and intensity, we are still suffering a lot.

"Are the defenders to blame? The team is to blame. If the attackers do not help out at the back, then everything gets harder. Perhaps losing this badly could help us. We must work hard to improve."

As Italy suffered their third straight defeat, Prandelli admitted that the Scommessopoli match-fixing scandal has taken its toll on the players' concentration.

"It has been difficult to play like this," he said. "But tonight we will only talk about football.

"I would like to compliment the Italian journalists who did not pose questions that are not related to football."

Italy begin their Euro 2012 against Spain on June 10.

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