Donadoni knows Italy must play better against Scots

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GENOA, Italy, Oct 14 (Reuters) Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said he was satisfied with the laboured 2-0 win over Georgia but he knows the world champions will have to play a lot better to beat a resurgent Scotland next month.

Goals from Andrea Pirlo and Fabio Grosso at the end of each half kept Italy second in Euro 2008 qualifying Group B, one below leaders Scotland and one above France.

Italy visit Glasgow and entertain the Faroes in their final matches next month with qualification still someway off.

Defeat against the flying Scots on November 17 and a victory for third-placed France at home to Lithuania would leave Italy's fate out their own hands despite an easy-looking last game.

On paper the Georgia game looked simple, especially with visiting captain and AC Milan defender Kakha Kaladze missing through injury. However, Italy made heavy weather of it.

''The first half was better than the second, more intense and combative. Certainly there are some things that need to be improved and some that are still not good but I am satisfied. The important thing was the result,'' Donadoni told reporters.

''I have always said that we would think about Scotland at the proper time. Now we will start to look to the future and prepare ourselves for this battle.'' Italy host South Africa in a friendly in Siena on Wednesday but Donadoni has named a near B squad, with many fringe players having little chance to stake a claim for the Scotland game.

''It will be a good test for some new call-ups. I have decided to rest those that have played more,'' he said.

World Cup-winning strikers Alessandro Del Piero and Filippo Inzaghi, controversially left out of the squad for the Georgia game, have also been omitted for Wednesday.

However, Del Piero in particular may feel he can force his way back into Donadoni's plans after the attacking trident of Luca Toni, Antonio Di Natale and Fabio Quagliarella failed to gel against Georgia.

Udinese's Di Natale, who played in Del Piero's usual role on the left, had another good game though individually as he celebrated his 30th birthday.

Reuters BJR RS1900

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