Zdenek Zeman has refused to walk back his criticism of Daniele De Rossi and Daniel Osvaldo. “I expect more from important players and I’m glad they reacted.”
The Roma boss dropped both stars for the 2-0 win over Atalanta and complained about their work-rate, but they each scored on international duty for Italy.
“I won’t take back what I said, though I’m glad they reacted,” said Zeman in today’s Press conference.
“Aside from the positive performances, they did well for Italy over the last week. I haven’t spoken directly to De Rossi or Osvaldo.
“I know that De Rossi has a long contract, wants to stay here and there are no problems. I expect more from important players, that’s all.”
The Coach was also asked about Miralem Pjanic, who noted he prefers his role on international duty rather than being squeezed into Zeman’s 4-3-3 tactics.
“Players often have different roles between club and national teams, it’s just that they play 6-7 games per year for one and 40 for the other. Miralem is a player who constructs and so can give us more in other areas.
“What did Cesare Prandelli think about De Rossi and Osvaldo? His team is constructed differently. Besides, he wasn’t here and cannot judge how they train for Roma.”
The Giallorossi have won only two games all season, so the trip to Genoa on Sunday night is particularly tricky.
“I don’t feel like saying this is a turning point, as that is true of every single match. Clearly, as a Coach I expect a positive response and am confident the team will want to impose itself against the Grifoni.
“I consider Genoa to be a good team with great strikers like Ciro Immobile and Marco Borriello, plus they have a muscular midfield.
“Would a defeat rule us out of any races? No, there are always teams who are cut out and get back in. There’s a long way to go and a defeat wouldn’t preclude anything.”
Mattia Destro and Nicolas Burdisso are not in this match due to injury, but Leandro Castan and Francesco Totti have shaken off minor knocks.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!