Roberto Mancini still upbeat despite Italy's defeat to England
Roberto Mancini admits Italy now face an "uphill climb" but is still confident his side can qualify for Euro 2024 despite the 2-1 defeat to England in Naples.
Declan Rice scored before the England skipper Harry Kane lashed home a penalty to become the first man ever to score 54 goals for England, who held on for a 2-1 win after Mateo Retegui's goal and a late Luke Shaw red card.
"We knew it was going to be a difficult game, then we conceded two goals from two set pieces," the former Manchester City boss Mancini said. "We should have been more careful.
"We dominated in the second half and probably deserved a draw.
"We're disappointed with the result but we still have a long way to go.
"In the second half we managed to press better, higher and I saw a great team again: this gives us hope.
"England are always dangerous from set pieces but we shouldn't have conceded those two goals. We still managed to roll up our sleeves and play better.
"The road is a bit of an uphill climb now, but maybe it will finish more smoothly."