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The veteran goalkeeper is keen to move on and secure qualification for the knockout stages when they face Uruguay on Tuesday

By Luis Herrera in Natal

Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon accepts the criticism which came the Azzurri’s way following their defeat to Costa Rica – but insists they should not dwell on the setback ahead of Tuesday’s crunch clash with Uruguay.

Having won their opening Group D encounter against England, Italy expected smooth progress to the knockout phase, only to hit a hurdle with the shock 1-0 loss to the North American nation.

Nevertheless, a point against Uruguay will be enough for Cesare Prandelli’s men to advance to the last 16 and goalkeeper Buffon is keen for everyone to move one.

He said on Sunday: “It is right that there was criticism but, at this moment, we look for a swift recovery.

“We cannot afford to get into a negative mindset because it would be counter-productive. We have to respect everyone’s judgement and respond.

“We have to try to send signals of optimism by putting in a great performance. It will take many ingredients: a warm heart; a cool head and a certain belief that does not subside after one game which went wrong, especially when the matches are so close together.”

Reports have suggested Prandelli is considering switching to a 3-5-2 formation for this game, something Buffon hinted would be a risk.

“We are open to all possibilities. One of our best qualities is that we are all chameleons and I hope this versatility will help us to reach the results we are aiming for,” he added.

“It would be a novelty, with all the benefits and risks that go with that. If this choice is made what happens on the pitch will tell us if it was the right decision.”

Asked if he preferred working with a three-man defence, he said: “What I think is irrelevant. We are talking about what is best for the team.

“I think we can all agree that we conceded too many chances against Costa Rica and we were unable to balance that with the opportunities created.

“The real disappointment is that in the second half we were unable to cause problems for a team focused only on defending.”

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