Eusebio Di Francesco praised Alisson Becker, Edin Dzeko and Elio Capradossi after a makeshift Roma conquered Cagliari. “Sometimes you need to win with determination.”
The Giallorossi earned a 1-0 victory in Sardinia thanks to Cengiz Under’s goal and the heroics of Alisson Becker, meaning they are only one point away from securing Champions League football.
“I compliment Cagliari for the performance, but I knew I had many players on the limit,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.
Kostas Manolas pulled out in the warm-up with a suspected thigh strain, so Capradossi had to make his Serie A debut.
“Unfortunately Manolas got hurt and we have to praise Capradossi, because he did so well to make the most of this opportunity in a situation that was by no means easy. He always worked hard in training and earned this chance.
“Manolas is limping, I think it’s something more than a knock. Lately knocks turn into thigh strains a bit too easily for us… All these games, journeys and training sessions make it tough by this stage of the season, but we came here and got a hard-fought victory. Sometimes you need to win with determination and not entertainment.
“Alisson works with the defenders, he isn’t just a goalkeeper but also a sweeper. He has great character and does everything for the team, which I assure you is fundamental. I see players as working within part of an orchestra and he sees it the same way.”
As Juventus only need a point to be sure of the Scudetto and Roma require one point for a top four finish, will they hold back at the Olimpico?
“We will not play for a draw, as that is not part of my philosophy. I think in a totally different way and will drill into the heads of my players that we want all three points against Juventus.
“In terms of beautiful football, certainly Napoli showed something more, but Juventus are winners and proved once again they have that extra edge.
“I think the team has grown in its mentality and realising when to suffer and when to push. I think Edin Dzeko was decisive tonight, really world class, as he held the ball up, helped out in defence and understood the various moments of the match.
“Cagliari were really determined, but we also allowed too many chances with our defensive errors and fatigue inevitably was part of that.
“The Diego Farias chances should’ve been read earlier to cut out the pass. In order to stay tight and aggressive, you can’t defend deep, but we do need to react quicker when the opposition breaks and we didn’t do that tonight or against Liverpool.”
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