Serbia coach Vladimir Petrovic admitted today that his team is under pressure, but insisted they are not burdened by it.
Serbia play Italy at the Marassi stadium tomorrow knowing that defeat would put a major dent in their qualification hopes for UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Friday's home defeat to Estonia has left them three points behind Group C leaders Italy and in a precarious position.
But Petrovic says the pressure is coming only from outside the camp. "Tomorrow's game will be tough for both teams, we both played badly in our last game and we even lost," he said. "Italy have three more points than us, we'll play to win and we hope it will be a good game.
"We only had three days to prepare before the first game [against Estonia] and that's not enough. But the team knows what they have to do, we can't hide, they're a great side but we're ready.
"It's a very important mission, there's lots of pressure from the press and from all Serbian people but this is an important game and we don't feel too much pressure."
Petrovic also believes his team have solved the defensive problems they suffered against Estonia but he admitted he would be happy with a point. "A draw against a team like Italy is always a good result," he added.
"I expect them to attack, that's why they chose the stadium here, there's no athletics track, the public will expect a lot and I expect a lot from [Antonio] Cassano, [Andrea] Pirlo and everyone. When you play against a team like Italy you can't afford the type of errors in defence we made against Estonia but I have faith in my players."
Petrovic only took over from Raddy Antic in mid-September after the team had already played two qualifiers.