Claudio Ranieri has no regrets over his controversial Francesco Totti substitution. “I'd do it again tomorrow, as it showed him respect.”
Roma were in turmoil this week, as Totti was furious when used only in stoppages for the 2-1 defeat at Sampdoria.
“Looking back, I'd do the same thing again tomorrow,” insisted the Coach ahead of the Serie A match with Cesena.
“It was never controversial for me, as in my view we have to battle right to the final whistle. I'll keep pushing to improve the result, even if there are only three minutes left.
“It was not a lack of respect towards Totti, but rather a show of how much I respect him, as I thought he could change the game with one free kick or shot. It's all the captain needs.
“Francesco is in good shape and I expect his goals soon, just as I expect Marco Borriello, Mirko Vucinic, Adriano and Jeremy Menez to score.”
Another substitute in the Sampdoria game proved disastrous, as Juan's howlers gave away both goals.
“He is a champion, so we all reassured him,” noted Ranieri. “Mistakes are part of life and you just have to put them behind you. He was the first to be upset by it, but is back on track and I expect the usual champion against Cesena.
“We did play well against Sampdoria and I want to see that same approach on Sunday. Cesena have picked up seven points in three games and are always ready to go on the counter, so we'll be facing a wall of 10 men and a goalkeeper.”
There have been reports of a split in the Giallorossi camp, as Ranieri could leave at the end of the season if he fails to win some silverware.
“If we change the trend and start picking up points away from home, then we are still in the Scudetto race. I could've gone in June and didn't. Roma is everything to me. I am determined and calm.”
Roma squad: Adriano, Borriello, Brighi, Guillermo Burdisso, Nicolas Burdisso, Cassetti, Castellini, De Rossi, Doni, Greco, Juan, Lobont, Menez, Pena, Perrotta, Riise, Rosi, Simplicio, Taddei, Totti, Vucinic