Insigne shrugs off Italy criticism

Lorenzo Insigne shrugged off criticism after Italy’s back-to-back draws in World Cup qualifying. ‘There’s no need to get downhearted’ against Lithuania tomorrow evening.

It kicks off on Wednesday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio-Emilia.

The Azzurri set the all-time world record by going 36 games unbeaten, but there was little celebration after a 0-0 draw with Switzerland on Sunday, which also followed a 1-1 stalemate against Bulgaria.

“We weren’t precise enough in front of goal in recent games, but there’s no need to panic or get downhearted,” assured Insigne in his press conference.

“It’s disappointing that we didn’t win, but we mustn’t create too much tension either. I am convinced we’ll have a different performance tomorrow and will score goals.

“I have not read the newspapers, but I’m sure someone said something critical… We know the strength of the group we created, we just have to keep working and achieving our targets.”

Only the top team in the group is guaranteed access to the 2022 World Cup, while the runners-up must go through the play-offs.