EDF: ‘Roma must be solid and attack’

Eusebio Di Francesco appreciated Roma unity and the hard work of the forwards against Chievo, stood up for Aleksandar Kolarov and gave injury updates.

Stephan El Shaarawy, Edin Dzeko and Kolarov got the goals at the Bentegodi, while the Giallorossi also hit the woodwork twice in the 3-0 result.

“We started strong, Chievo fought back and gambled everything, but we were always in control and could’ve had a few more goals,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“You can leave 20 minutes to the opposition during a 90-minute game, no matter who you are up against, as long as you defend well and remain solid. We didn’t do that.

“Chievo were very aggressive and ran big risks at the back as a result, so we had to make more vertical passes and cut their defence open. I have told the players that in those situations, if there is the option for a through ball, we should take it.

“It’s fundamental to play this way that the forwards help the team, that we remain solid and don’t leave gaps between the lines. There are risks with through balls, we often read it well tonight and caught Chievo offside repeatedly.”

Kolarov bowed to the fans. Was it sarcastic or a genuine attempt to make up with the ultras?

“I think it was a great gesture, to apologise to the fans after what happened, but once again I need to point out this lad played for a month with pain-killing injections. He could barely walk when he arrived at training and would play because we needed him.

“He can say the wrong thing sometimes, but he’s a great professional and nobody can complain about his approach on the field.”

Dzeko found the net and hit the crossbar, but still has only five Serie A goals this season.

“There are many strikers who score goals in double figures and I’d like Dzeko to get there, but we have become something of a co-op of goals with everyone contributing. Edin had a fine performance this evening and deserved more than one goal. I know that strikers live for the goal and need it to boost their confidence.”

Roma face Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, so Di Francesco gave an injury update.

“Patrik Schick had a twinge in his thigh and I preferred to replace him to ensure it didn’t get any worse. Kostas Manolas might be able to recover for Porto, probably more so than Robin Olsen, we’ll have to see in training over the next few days.

“Antonio Mirante has a lot of experience and keeps a cool head during difficult moments, so I know we are in safe hands when he plays, but obviously the first choice is Olsen.”

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