Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has stated that he will stand by under-fire striker Mario Balotelli and that he expects a reaction from him in the side's next Euro 2012 game against Republic of Ireland.
The Manchester City attacker has not been at his best in Ukraine and Poland as yet, and the press in his homeland have been calling for Antonio Di Natale to start alongside Antonio Cassano instead.
Despite this, the Azzurri coach has revealed that he expects Balotelli to come good against Giovanni Trapattoni's team.
" I talked with Mario for 15 minutes, but I still could not make him do what I wanted him to," Prandelli told reporters.
"If you love someone you must speak clearly. I will not abandon him; I played him when all the press wanted him on the bench.
"What are we waiting for? [On Monday] I expect a big reaction," he confessed.
The game against Ireland kicks off at 20:45CET on Monday.
BY CLARA CHOOIASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 ― Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal lawmakers have vowed to make full use of their increased parliamentary numbers to ensure constituencies are fairly redrawn when the Election Commission (EC) kicks off the redelineation exercise this year-end.