EDF: ‘The Roma I wanted’

Eusebio Di Francesco is starting to see more of the Roma he wants after a 3-0 victory over Verona and cleared the air with Edin Dzeko.

The Bosnian bagged a brace after Radja Nainggolan’s opener at the Stadio Olimpico this evening.

“These games are to be won, they end up being decisive. Obviously, we could’ve scored a few more goals, but maybe we saved them for the following matches,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Under worked very hard and deserved to get on the scoresheet. You can only improve by playing consistently, but today I changed five players and had some who hadn’t started yet this season.

“I am satisfied with this team, we created a great deal this evening and that’s what I wanted. There’s one game after another now, so we need to keep up the momentum.

“It hurts a little looking at the table right now, especially as we have a game in hand (when their trip to Sampdoria was rained off, ndr).”

Di Francesco was also asked about the controversy over the last couple of days when Dzeko complained he was too isolated in attack.

“Dzeko scored two goals, but he could’ve had two or three more. I am calm, as we cleared the air with Edin straight away. The media try to find problems where they don’t exist.

“I continue to say we had a very good first half against Atletico Madrid, we struggled once our fitness levels hit problems, but it was a good performance.

“The physical improvement also means the ball is moved around faster. I sacrificed Gregoire Defrel for many games, playing him out of position, and that created even more issues in building moves.

“Scepticism is part of the job and it will always be there at the first sign of a negative result. I want to remain positive, inspire the fans and get them enthusiastic about coming to the stadium. Our philosophy must be to create, entertain and attack the opponent always.

“Nainggolan’s goal came from the concept of moving the ball quickly, getting several men forward and being aggressive. We haven’t done it enough this season, but that is the idea. Lorenzo Pellegrini and Kevin Strootman are very good at these runs, too.

“Pellegrini is a player I absolutely wanted at Roma. He was with me for two years at Sassuolo, he got into the Italy squad and in my view is not just valuable for Roma, but all of Italian football.

“Patrik Schick is not ready to start yet, as he hasn’t trained enough with us or Sampdoria.”

This match marked Alessandro Florenzi’s comeback for the first time since damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in October 2016.

“I had already planned to use him against Sampdoria, whereas with Atletico would’ve been a bit of a risk in his condition. He is an added bonus and I can assure you he’ll be valuable in all roles, not just the one he filled this evening.”

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