EDF: ‘Roma won’t rest on laurels’

Eusebio Di Francesco warned Roma that “this city makes you rest on your laurels and I don’t want that” against Atletico Madrid.

It kicks off on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

The Giallorossi are top of the group and could secure qualification tomorrow after six straight wins, including Saturday’s Rome Derby.

“We played the derby in the best way and will also prepare well for this challenge against an Atletico Madrid side that has always impressed in Europe for years,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“We have a good cushion in the group, but Atletico know it’s their last chance to stay in the running and they are therefore very fired up.

“I saw recent Atleti games and they have always been aggressive, so will step that up even more tomorrow. We must reply on level terms and try to stay in their half. We know it’s a difficult arena to play in, but we must also have the belief in ourselves.

“As I see it, tomorrow is a decisive match and it’s important for us to qualify as soon as possible, hopefully top of the group. I am not thinking about the next game after that, because that’s not how I work.

“I do not rest on my laurels and only every tried to put my ideas of football into practice. The way to win over the fans is to get the players on side first and consequently that attitude spreads. I am relaxed, but I look forward and not back, because there is still a lot to prove.

“Rome is a city that makes you rest on your laurels and I don’t want that.”

Alessandro Florenzi is out tomorrow, but Radja Nainggolan is called up and Di Francesco confirmed he is available to start.

It’s a bit of a reunion for Di Francesco, who clashed against Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone when they were playing at Roma and Lazio respectively.

“The player Simeone has been transferred on to the bench. We played once at the Vicente Calderon (their old stadium) and the only thing I remember about it is the crowd, which was so passionate.

“We didn’t expect to be at this stage with Atletico Madrid only having three points in the group table. We’ve done well and frankly deserved to win away to Chelsea too, even if we drew that game (3-3).

“Obviously, we must try to qualify and finish top of the group.”

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