Italy’s head coach, Giampiero Ventura has slammed the display of his side in the 1-1 draw against Macedonia.
Spain secured qualification to Russia, meaning Italy will have to wait till the second round of qualifying to earn their ticket.
Chiellini scored the only goal for Italy, with a poor second half display , seeing the Azzurri’s concede an equaliser and Ventura believes if they play like that, they will struggle in the playoffs.
He told reporters: “If we play like we did in the second half then we will struggle to get through the play-offs. It doesn’t take a coach to realise that.
“If from here to the play-offs we can add a few more players who actually play [at club level], but evidently those are two different situations.
“I think the praise was exaggerated before and the criticism is exaggerated now. I had moments that were positive and negative, like all coaches.
“In the last six minutes, Leonardo Bonucci moved up to act as a centre-forward because the team wanted a victory. In the second half we weren’t as aggressive, but that doesn’t mean we lacked confidence.
“Macedonia lost only one game in 2017 and it was 2-1 to Spain, and in the 95th minute they could’ve equalised. We’re not talking about Spain or Germany, but they are still a good side.”