El Shaarawy: ‘Roma more courageous’

Stephan El Shaarawy explains what it’s like to score in the Rome Derby and hails Coach Eusebio Di Francesco for giving them “courage.”

It kicks off on Saturday at 17.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“We know how important this game is not only for the players, but for the whole city. It’s prepared for more than a week, so it’ll be a game charged with intensity and we must get a result to give consistency to our victories,” El Shaarawy told the Roma match program.

“Scoring in the Derby della Capitale is very special. I hope to find the net again on Saturday, but as I’ve always said, the most important thing is that we win, it doesn’t matter who scores the goal.

“I netted twice in the derby and one was even a header! That doesn’t happen often. On Saturday I’d gladly score with any part of my body, just as long as Roma win.

“The support of the fans has always been fundamental for us, they really are like a 12th man. They help you to overturn any situation, fire you up and we can win any game with them behind us.

“We’ve got to keep calm and do what we know, with belief and hard work. Lazio are in good shape too, but we can have our say against anyone, as proved by the victory over Chelsea in the Champions League. My brace in that game is something I will never forget.

“A good chunk of our season depends on this match with Lazio and a victory would give us such a boost for the games that will come.”

The 3-0 win against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea is so far the high point of the campaign for Roma, who have impressed under Coach Eusebio Di Francesco.

“The Coach has shown he had clear ideas from the start. He treated everyone the same way, making sure all the players felt important, and that is a great strength. He’s doing a wonderful job and we players must do what he is asking for.

“He knows what he wants and ensures everybody feels important. We talked a lot and he even managed to use me on the right, so I had no problems putting what he wants into practice.

“The Coach likes his wingers to go deeper to get the ball and then cut behind the defender. These are mechanisms we test out in training.

“What gave us real consistency of performances is the fact we always attack the opposition, always trying to press forward, even against strong opponents. He has given us more confidence and belief in our capabilities. We feel more courageous and know we want to win the game.”

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