EDF: ‘I changed Roma system’

Eusebio Di Francesco admits he changed tactics to beat Torino after a poor first half and trusts Roma can turn Shakhtar Donetsk around.

The Giallorossi eventually won 3-0, but struggled in the first half with Alisson Becker’s saves keeping Toro out.

“We didn’t have a good first half, as Torino played better,” confessed the Coach on Mediaset Premium.

“After the break, I lifted Radja Nainggolan to a more advanced role and that helped us find more channels. I could feel the lads were anxious at the lack of wins at the Olimpico and we were making life more complicated for ourselves.

“I changed to 4-2-3-1 with Radja closer to the striker and that caused many more problems for the opposition defence.

“Patrik Schick didn’t do well in the first half, but none of his teammates did either. He tends to go a bit too wide, but these are players worth waiting for and helping. Don’t forget what Cengiz Under did once he had the chance to play and develop.

“We shouldn’t look back at what might’ve been, but focus on what we can still do and the future with these young and talented players still finding their feet.”

Roma have to overturn a 2-1 first leg defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

“They are a very good side, but at times we are a little hasty and don’t make the most of our capabilities. The crowd will be crucial against Shakhtar.

“I think balance must remain our guiding principle and it’s what we didn’t have in the first half tonight. We need it against Shakhtar, as they are more like a Brazilian team than a Ukrainian one.

“Having said that, I can assure you we can cause them problems.”

This was the first Roma game since the tragic news of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori’s passing. He spent one year at Roma and was teammates with several in the Italy squad, so Kostas Manolas and Daniele De Rossi dedicated their goals to him.

“It was a very difficult night above all for Daniele. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he felt ready to play. He deserved to score this goal so he could commemorate Davide in the best way.”

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