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Sunday, 25 June, 2000, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
Fiore fires up the Italians
Stefano Fiore
Stefano Fiore (right) wants more from Italy
Italy's Stefano Fiore has urged his team-mates to step up a gear now they are in the semi-finals of Euro 2000.

The Italians may have breezed through to the last four but Fiore, who has awarded his side seven-and-a-half out of ten for their performances so far, says there is more to come.

The Udinese midfielder said: "We have had a bit of difficulty in our positioning on the pitch - I'm convinced we can still do better."

Either Holland or Yugoslavia stand in the way of Italy and a place in the final.

Afraid

Fiore admitted he would rather take on the Yugoslavs, but not because he is afraid of the co-hosts.



I'd definitely rather play against Yugoslavia

Stefano Fiore

"Fear? No. But I'd definitely rather play against Yugoslavia, above all because the match is in Amsterdam and the stadium will be full of Dutch fans," he said.

Italy coach Dino Zoff said he had no preference who his team face on Thursday.

"Whoever emerges from their quarter-final will have proved themselves the stronger of the two," he said.

Cylinders

"We don't know who we will face next but we will take them on in the same way as we have our other opponents."

Like Fiore, Zoff believes Italy are not yet firing on all cylinders.

Reflecting on the 2-0 win over quarter-final opponents Romania, he said: "In the first half it was difficult for us, even when we were on the offensive.

"They were attacking on the counter-attack with fast players.


Dino Zoff
Zoff: not bothered who his side play
"In the second half, on the other hand, we didn't have the ball that much but we managed to create a little more. But the team can still do more.

"So far we have done our work well but whether we are strong enough to win the tournament, only time will tell.

"We were criticised before it but have a lot of confidence and I am very happy."

Italy will be without Antonio Conte for the semi-final.

The Juventus midfielder was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after his ankle ligaments were torn in a bad challenge by Romanian playmaker Gheorghe Hagi.

Inter Milan's Luigi Di Biagio is favourite to deputise.

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See also:

25 Jun 00 | Romania
Hagi protests his innocence
24 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Italy cruise through to last four
24 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Zoff demands more
24 Jun 00 | The BBC Team
Italy on the march, says Dublin
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