Eusebio Di Francesco admits he is ‘tormented’ by Roma’s inconsistency and that his side lack character but has urged critics to lay off Stephan El Shaarawy.
Roma’s run of four straight wins was abruptly ended by a 2-0 home defeat to SPAL on Saturday, while El Shaarawy is considered to have not fulfilled his potential for the Giallorossi.
“Things in the dressing room stay in the dressing room,” the Coach said at a Press conference for Tuesday’s Champions League match against CSKA Moscow.
“I’ll only say that matches aren’t prepared in two hours. We’re lucky to be able to take to the field immediately and being able to bounce back without too much talk.
“I liked our approach against SPAL, but then we disintegrated. We have to rebuild at a mental level rather than a physical one.
“Reason for our ups and downs? It’s the thing that torments me most of all. We want to play with consistency, but today we find ourselves having just had a disappointing second half.
“We could’ve beaten SPAL and showed it, but we couldn’t recover after their penalty. Not enough character? The whole team must improve, also in terms of personality and leadership.
“We’ve shown shortcomings, but it’s up to me to find the key points to ensure we have balance.
“We’ve had to scored extra goals because we don’t always do well defensively. Difficulty in overturning games? Numbers are important and can’t be a problem.
“We must work hard and we’ll try to improve in this regard. Compared to Viktoria Plzen, CSKA are a very technical team.
“We’re talking about a young team with a lot of quality. We can take advantage of set-pieces, while they might be all over us at times, but the game won’t only depend on those things.
“CSKA often change their way of playing, so I don’t know what team we’ll be facing. I think De Rossi, Kolarov and Schick can come back, but we’ll see in the afternoon.
“The first two, if they’re fit, will start. El Shaarawy? He’s never had so much consistency in the first halves of games.
“He did well against SPAL, but everyone always expects more from him and he doesn’t always succeed in doing that.
“I don’t want to talk about individuals, but he works well for the team like the others. Dzeko? He must be one of our leading lights and the fans’ support will also be useful.”
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