'Bulgaria point could be crucial' - Buffon urges patience after stuttering Italy start

The veteran goalkeeper agrees that the Azzurri were below-par on Friday night, but professes the worth of an away point and asks fans to judge them after 10 games
Gianluigi Buffon has promised that Italy will improve after their disappointing 2-2 draw against Bulgaria and make things right against Malta on Tuesday.

A Pablo Osvaldo brace wasn't enough to secure victory for the Azzurri in Sofia, who many believe are suffering under the weight of expectation following an appearance in the Euro 2012 final.

"It is right to accept criticism of a technician when the evidence is there for all to see, but I will tell you that at the end of the qualifying period, a point in Bulgaria will have its worth," Buffon told Corriere dello Sport.

Juventus team-mate Andrea Pirlo also remained upbeat and stressed the adjustment of getting back into form on the back of a major international tournament.

"The first match of the national team after the break [between tournaments] has always been the most difficult," he explained.

"But the game in Sofia is now forgotten. [We] do not try to justify it, and do not believe the praise from the European Championships has affected us negatively.

"All points are important, but let's start making things right on Tuesday [when Italy play Malta]."
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