Italy midfielder Marco Parolo insists the squad will not be allowed to drop a level in their final Group E match because they have already qualified for the last 16.
Chelsea-bound boss Antonio Conte has made it clear to his players he expects to build on their opening two victories against Belgium and Sweden when they face Republic of Ireland on Wednesday in Lille.
Ireland have to beat Conte’s men, who have yet to concede a goal at Euro 2016, to have any hope of reaching the knockout stage of the competition.
But the 31-year-old is adamant Italy will not relax to save energy for the knockout stage of the competition, as it could backfire, especially as Conte has such high standards.
“Even on the day after the game against Sweden, Conte has continued to hammer everyone and told us we also have to win the game against Ireland,” Parolo said.
“If you allow the tension to drop, then it can be difficult to rediscover the right level of concentration. His motto is that winning helps you to win and I am also convinced about that.”
Italy’s squad is considered to be one of their weakest in years and Conte is trying to make up for what they lack in talent with team spirit and tactical cunning.
So far that approach has worked a treat as they quietly cast aside the acclaimed Belgium team, while barely looking troubled against Sweden.
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