Prandelli: September is not our best month

Azzurri boss admits that Italy were lacking sharpness, but praised Lorenzo Insigne on his performance following their 2-0 win on Tuesday
Cesare Prandelli believes that Italy must improve in several areas, despite winning their second World Cup qualifying game against Malta.

Mattia Destro and Federico Peluso grabbed the goals for an Italian team that were frustrated by the away side, who forced them into a change of formation at the half-time break, as attempts to break down the minnows came to little fruition.

"We were a bit more organised in the second half, showing greater verve and creating more space," explained the Italy coach, speaking to reporters, as he reserved special praise for one of his substitutes.

"We know September isn't our best month and we're not very sharp, but we have to rediscover our enthusiasm, pace and style of play. Some situations will be examined and we'll learn from them.

"Insigne did well when he came on and we spread the play with his introduction, getting more down the flanks."

Mattia Destro, scorer of the opening goal, had respect for the away side, whilst admitting that he's keen to play anywhere for the Azzurri after being moved into midfield after the half-time break.

"We played against a very defensive side that stayed solid at the back and it was difficult to penetrate their defences," admitted the 21-year-old.

"I have to compliment Malta, who played a great game in terms of defence and made it difficult for us.

"I adapt and am at the absolute disposal of the squad. I'm happy to play on the right, as I'm young and it can only be positive to learn new roles," said Destro.

The second goalscorer, Federico Peluso, spoke warmly of the game in which he netted his first senior Italy goal, whilst also complimenting Lorenzo Insigne.

"I was pretty anxious at my first start, but the lads and, especially the veterans, put me at ease. It's a night I will remember for the rest of my life," he told reporters.

"Insigne is very talented and a young player with a guaranteed future ahead of him, but he's not the only one and it shows Italy are rediscovering some great players," he said.

Highly regarded Italy debutant Lorenzo Insigne was also keen to speak of his first experience in the blue shirt of his country.

"It was hugely emotional to make my senior debut aged 21. I'm very happy with how the game went for the team and for me," said the Napoli midfielder.

"I dedicate this debut to my family, who were in the stands, and my girlfriend back home."