Italy manager Antonio Conte said his team can thrive as the underdogs when they face Spain in the first knockout round at Euro 2016 on Monday.
Italy’s reward for finishing top of Group E is a meeting with the reigning champions in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final, when Spain outclassed the Italians 4-0 at Kiev.
But the manager said his players could take inspiration from their performance in beating much-fancied Belgium 2-0 in their opening game at the tournament last week when they head to the Stade de France.
“The players are doing everything they have to. They are working very hard and we have to keep grafting. We must not have any anxiety,” said Conte.
“Now we have a match against one of the favourites but let’s not forget where we started from.
“We mustn’t get above our station. A last-16 match against Spain should excite us and we need to play like we did against Belgium, against a side who are supposedly superior.”
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