Antonio Conte focused on future.


Coach Antonio Conte refused to say if Italy have gone backwards or forward after their 1-0 defeat to Portugal on Tuesday.

Conte, who is looking forward to their next clash, saw his winless streak extended to four matches as Eder scored a 52nd-minute goal in the friendly at the Stade de Geneve in Carouge.

The Italians have won five of their 10 games since Conte took over as boss, and after the tie the former Juve coach said: "These games are important because they help the players develop and give the coaches a lot of insight. I am not disappointed at all.

"Have we taken a step backwards? I’m not thinking about that.


"I only care about letting the players gain experience, because they have played so few games on an international stage. The most important thing is to keep working. Defeats can be useful for this."

Conte added: "I really don't understand how Italy can be behind some national teams; it must be because of our form in recent years," he said.

"I only focus on the present and the future. We have worked a lot in my first year as head coach, but there is still work to do. We have to, and we want to, improve."