Rudi Garcia said Mattia Destro is becoming “a complete forward” after Roma put the pressure on Juventus and Napoli.
“It was the right result, especially with great possession and fluidity in the second half. We were able to make the most of the spaces after taking the lead,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
Destro bagged a hat-trick in today’s 3-1 victory away to Cagliari, netting 13 this season and seven in the last six games. What did Garcia expect from Destro when first arriving last summer?
“Above all what I knew about him was that he was injured. Today he proved that he is not only a box striker, but a complete forward and he understood you have to give your all in every second of every game. He must maintain that desire to win.
“It’s true that when Francesco Totti isn’t playing, Destro is a very useful centre-forward. Playing with the others he can only improve, but even when he plays out wide – even with freedom of movement – he can spread his influence in different areas. I don’t like any of my forwards to stay in a specific position.”
Garcia confirmed he had specifically requested the signing of Gervinho, who struggled at Arsenal but seems a different player with Roma.
“Of course I knew Gervinho could be this decisive. He started with me at Le Mans, then at Lille we won the Double, so when I arrived at Roma I realised we were missing someone like him. He can get past one or two men and make the difference against teams that are locked down. Gervinho always plays for his teammates too and makes good choices.
“We have a very attentive staff who study the opposition, which is why we know what to do. Roma hadn’t won here for 19 years, so we knew this was a difficult test, but the team is confident.”
The Giallorossi have mathematically secured a top three finish, so a place in the Champions League is guaranteed.
“Now we are five behind Juventus and 12 ahead of Napoli, so the pressure is on the others. Our destiny is not in our hands for the title, but it is when it comes to second place.
“When I first arrived, I said my objective was to bring the smile back to the players and pride to the fans. I feel we’ve achieved that mission.”