Italy coach Cesare Prandelli expressed his delight to reporters after seeing his new-look Azzurri team put in a convincing shift to beat Ukraine 2-0, with their new found team spirit being a significant factor.
"I was happy to see the lads fighting in an organized manner,” said the tactician of their 2-0 victory in Kiev.
"We saw that we could go on the counter when Ukraine lost the ball in that position and it was important for me to see the players’ spirit.
"I got some great answers and these are important games to evaluate the squad. I had good responses in terms of character, quality and determination.
Prandelli opted to play Juventus loanee Alberto Aquilani in an unfamiliar trequartista position behind both Giuseppe Rossi and Alberto Gilardino in attack, and had a few words of encouragement for his forward players.
"Giuseppe Rossi and Alberto Aquilani were sometimes a little too close together, but we know he was playing the first time with this system," mused the ex-Fiorentina boss.
"I ask everyone to maintain this spirit of going for the victory and continue to improve the quality of football."