The Azzurri are defending their World Cup title, but could crash out if they fail to beat Slovakia.
“One thing is certain, we have to improve right away, otherwise we won't even get to the second round,” said the midfielder. “It may be an ugly situation, but at the same time it gives you the clarity of knowing we have to win and that's all there is to it.”
Even if they do qualify, it is likely to be in second place behind Paraguay, setting up a knockout match with Holland.
“It could well be entertaining to clash with a top side like Holland, but we have to focus on beating Slovakia before even thinking about that.
“Today we were missing a little something in the final third again, not just the strikers but everyone,” said De Rossi of the 1-1 with New Zealand.
“Having said that, we spent the entire match in their half and so far in this World Cup conceded two from free kicks.”