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Italy boss Roberto Mancini blasts Queen, Rolling Stones at training sessions

Italy coach Roberto Mancini is trying something new to motivate his players.

For the first time in Italy training sessions, music is being played from a speaker attached to a mobile phone.

"It's a new thing. I've been here for three years and until now I've only heard it in the changing room," Italy and AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma said on Tuesday.

"Yesterday, we trained with a bit of music, it seemed strange to me, and I asked the goalkeeping coach. He explained to me that Mancini likes working like this because it gives a bit of extra enthusiasm."

The playlist for Monday's session included Queen, Miley Cyrus, The Rolling Stones, and The Killers. Interestingly, there wasn't a single Italian song played.

Mancini is trying everything as he tries to haul Italy out of their lowest point, after missing the World Cup for the first time in nearly six decades.

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He nevertheless remains optimistic that things can change and that he can bring the good times back to Italian football.

"It's not going to be easy, but we hope to make it simple," he said after being given the Nereo Rocco award for services to sport on Tuesday. "Maybe we're just going to need a bit of time and patience.

"It's going to be a long road, but the hope is that we can get Italy back where they belong. We want to be back challenging to win the World Cup and the European Championship. This is what we hope for and we want to be back there quickly."

Italy host Poland in Bologna on Friday then visit Portugal three days later. They are Mancini's first competitive matches in charge and the Azzurri's first since failing to qualify for the World Cup last November.

Music is not the only new thing in the Italy training camp. Five players received their first callups, although 17-year-old Monaco forward Pietro Pellegri has pulled out with injury.

Mancini launched an appeal on Monday for Serie A clubs to play Italians and to have the "courage" to use young players, but Nicolo Barella believes it is up to them to prove they're worth the risk.

"It is up to us who are playing to try to always improve more and raise the level while waiting for others to come through to give us a hand in the national team," the 21-year-old Cagliari midfielder said.

"There are talented Italian youngsters, who are ready to take the step up. We just have to wait and have faith."

Barella has been called up by Mancini before but has yet to play for the senior national team.

Fiorentina midfielder Marco Benassi agreed with Mancini, having worked under coaches who have given him the chance and others who have kept him sidelined.

"Mancini is right, you need courage to send youngsters onto the pitch," the 23-year-old Benassi said. "[Andrea] Stramaccioni had that when he gave me my debut at 18 with Inter.

"At Torino, I spent two months on the bench and so two years ago, I told myself there wasn't any space for me, I don't know if that was because of technique or age. However, I decided to change clubs and I was right."

ESPN FC's Italy correspondent Ben Gladwell contributed to this report

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