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Euro 2016

Conte: Difficult to explain why Italy won't be seeded

10:32 am AEDT 14/10/15
The Azzurri coach is amazed that the country will be in Pot 2 for December's draw for Euro 2016 after qualifying for the tournament undefeated

Antonio Conte is baffled by the fact Italy will not be among the top seeds for the Euro 2016 group stage draw, despite topping their qualification pool.

A 1-0 friendly defeat to Portugal in June is Italy's only loss under Conte since he replaced Cesare Prandelli at the helm of the national team after last year's World Cup group stage elimination. 

The Azzurri then secured automatic qualification for next summer's European Championship after going unbeaten through their 10-game qualification campaign, racking up seven wins and three draws.

But despite their impressive form, Italy will be in Pot 2 in December's draw for the Euros, with France seeded as hosts, and Germany, Spain, England, Portugal and Belgium all ranked above Conte's men.

"It's difficult to explain why we're not top seeds, we have finished the group with 24 points," Conte told Rai Uno after Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Norway.

"It's a shame about the friendly defeat against Portugal. Otherwise, we'd be taking about an unbeaten team."

Despite Conte's success, speculation is rife that he will step down when his current contract with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) expires after the Euros.

However, the 46-year-old does not want to be drawn on his future until after the tournament.

"I don't think that six months out from the Euros is the time to be speaking about it," he stated.

"You saw how it went with Prandelli, who renewed his contract before the World Cup and was then dismissed."

Conte was proud of the way in which his players responded to falling behind to a first-half strike from Alexander Tettey, with late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Graziano Pelle.

"Compliments to our opponents; Norway are a good team," he stated. "But we have done what we needed to do.

"We wouldn't have deserved to lose. I'm happy with the intensity and the grit. We're on the right track.

"We also put Norway in difficulty in the first half and we were unlucky to go behind but changing the system to a 4-2-4 during the game was planned," the Italy boss added.

"Knowing how to interpret various tactical situations is our strength."