Giampiero Ventura says Italy has taken another step forward, albeit a small one, after their 1-0 win over Albania.

Italy were already guaranteed to finish second in their group, but needed to win their last match to secure a playoff seeding.

Ventura already came under fire after Italy played a 1-1 draw against Macedonia on home soil, now that is all gone, as the win over Albania has granted him a small reprieve.

“This was the objective we had set. I think we made another small step forward, but we continue to control the game badly and give the ball away too often,” he told Rai Sport.

“I think the only chances they had were gifted by us giving the ball away in banal fashion. I am happy for the lads, as they work really hard and I confirm what I said, that we need the time to do something important with this squad.

“It seemed only right to be in front, as we had some incredible chances. I was happy inside, but above all for the players. We have a few limitations at the moment, and some injury emergencies, but we wanted to try things out.

“Slowly today, a few looked around and realised certain things could be done. I hope to get some players back for the play-off, as otherwise there might be a problem.”

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