EDF: ‘Zaniolo can play in attack’

Eusebio Di Francesco hinted Nicolò Zaniolo could be moved into the trident attack against Bologna, but asks to “not put pressure” on the Roma teenager.

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“The Champions League win over Porto took a lot out of us, but the team has shown a greater sense of balance and knows when to soak up pressure,” said the Coach in his Press conference after that 2-1 result on Tuesday evening.

“Our defeat to Bologna earlier this season must remain as a bad memory that reminds us not to make the same mistakes again. It’s also a different Bologna, as they have a new Coach and have changed their style of football under Sinisa Mihajlovic.”

There were reports Zaniolo would be rested after his brace against Porto, but that might not be possible, as the injuries are piling up.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is in doubt too, as he picked up a knock and needs to be evaluated today. We only have three forwards at the moment, so it’s possible he could play in that role tomorrow.

“As for Zaniolo’s current form, I want to make a general appeal to everyone: let’s allow him to experience this moment with a relaxed state of mind and not put too much responsibility on his shoulders. That includes people asking if he should get the Number 10 jersey, because the 22 is fine for now.

“We should give this young man the time and space to develop without too much pressure. We know there’s a player with great potential, but still has much to prove.”

Roma seem to have become less porous at the back lately, but Di Francesco denies it’s because they have become defensive.

“I don’t think we’re sitting deeper. It’s just that by keeping the lines tight, we don’t get stretched out and are therefore more focused. The 4-3-3 system can help, but the team is overall simply defending better at the moment.”

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