Cesare Prandelli insists Italy must ensure their run to the Euro 2012 final was no flash in the pan by pressing on with their development.
The Azzurri proved many of their doubters wrong by reaching Sunday's final, where despite losing 4-0 to Spain, they nonetheless earned plaudits for pursuing an attacking approach throughout the tournament.
But while Prandelli is pleased with the efforts of his players in Poland and Ukraine, he has warned that they must continue to progress and not make "one step forward and two steps back".
Speaking to reporters, Prandelli said: "We must be proud of this Italy squad and our ootball. You journalists cheering me on is the sign that you are are starting believe in our project.
"We are an old country and we need to develop. The result of the final must not change our mind about change, we must not make one step forward and two steps back.
“Maybe it will be difficult, but we have to play well and get results at the same time. We must manage the national team like a club."