Euro 2016: Antonio Conte plays down Italy's hopes after win over Finland
Coach Antonio Conte has played down Italy's Euro 2016 chances after ending preparations for the tournament with friendly wins against Scotland and Finland
Montpellier (France): Coach Antonio Conte has played down Italy's Euro 2016 chances after ending preparations for the tournament with friendly wins against Scotland and Finland.
Italy coach Antonio Conte
Italy, trounced 4-0 by Spain in the Euro 2012 final, arrive at their Montpellier base today on the back of a patchy 1-0 win over the Scots in Malta and Monday's 2-0 win over Finland in Verona.
The Azzurri kick off the tournament against Belgium in Lyon on June 13, with further Group E games against Sweden on June 17 in Toulouse and the Republic of Ireland on June 22 in Lille.
'Work in progress'
Conte admitted Italy are still a work in progress. "We have to keep our feet on the ground," he said. "We've won two friendlies, but with Belgium on the horizon we now have to get to work on our tactical play."
Conte believes Italy's recent wins have restored faith and confidence, but admitted Belgium — ranked second in the world — will be a tough nut to crack.
"We're feeling confident after win in friendlies . We played well against Finland, but we know we can do better. We have to believe we can challenge Belgium, they're a great side."
Paris: Britain, yesterday, warned that stadiums could be targeted during Euro 2016, adding to security fears in France.
The warning was issued a day after Ukraine arrested a suspected French extremist planning to attack the tournament. The Foreign Office said, "During Euro, stadiums, fan zones, venues broadcasting the tournament and transport hubs represent potential targets for terrorist attacks."
But just three days before Euro kicks off, the threat of continued disruption to rail travel in France eased as state-run operator SNCF made an improved offer on pay and conditions to unions after all-night talks. "There comes a time when you need to know when to stop a strike," President Francois Hollande said.