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Defiant Donadoni says Italy played well
BADEN, Austria |
BADEN, Austria (Reuters) - Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said on Monday he would not quit despite their Euro 2008 quarter-final exit, maintaining his view that the world champions had played well in the tournament.
Critics have said a woeful Italy lacked ideas and energy in Austria and Switzerland and Italian media expect Donadoni to be sacked by the country's soccer federation with 2006 World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi poised to return.
An escape clause in Donadoni's new two-year contract means it would cost less to dismiss him in the next 10 days. The federation is reviewing his position and will hold talks with the coach.
"Absolutely no," Donadoni told a news conference when asked if he had considered resigning following Sunday's loss on penalties to Spain after a drab 0-0 draw.
"I don't have a reason. We only lost a game on penalties. You can't say things work when you win but don't work when you lose on penalties. We will talk and decide. It doesn't make any sense to talk about whether I deserve to carry on."
He refused to make excuses for the exit, such as captain Fabio Cannavaro's injury before the tournament and the international retirements of top striker Francesco Totti and defender Alessandro Nesta last year.
A relaxed Donadoni also denied widespread accusations that his side were too defensive but said his players were tired, with forward Luca Toni especially lacklustre.
"After a tough season...it is difficult to see a team playing sparklingly and brilliantly," he added.
(Editing by Ken Ferris)
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