Mancini laments first half disappointment in Italy's defeat to Austria
Italy head coach Roberto Mancini has conceded that his 3-4-3 formation did not work as intended against Austria, as he criticised his side's poor first half display against the hosts.
The European champions finished 2022 with defeat in Vienna, where two first half goals from Xaver Schlager and David Alaba put the hosts in control.
A poor showing in the first period was improved upon after the break, but Italy could not break Austria's defence, though Mancini believes his side did enough to deserve praise.
"We were better in the second half, in the first half we had the ball and we had to score. After that we suffered, making so many technical mistakes. In the second half, all we were missing was a goal," he said post-match.
"The formation didn't go very well, we did little pressing with the strikers conceding too many spaces.
"The team was too long, we did badly and this penalised us a bit, but in the second half I saw a very good team. We were unlucky and a bit inaccurate."
Italy are not scheduled to be back in action until March, where the defence of their European crown begins with the first qualifying match against England in a rematch of the 2020 final.