Eusebio Di Francesco confirms Edin Dzeko will start against Inter and hopes transfer rumours “won’t affect” Roma players. “We need action, not words.”
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
The build-up to the game has been dominated by reports that Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri are heading to Chelsea in a combined €60m deal, while Chinese clubs call Radja Nainggolan.
“I didn’t like the Winter break, especially as we lost Maxime Gonalons and Diego Perotti to injury. The team is motivated and wants to get back what we left along the way. I expect the utmost concentration from here to the end of our journey, including the Champions League,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“Daniele De Rossi is in the squad and we hope he can play, but Gonalons and Perotti are out. I hope to get Perotti back against Sampdoria (on January 24), but Gonalons will be out for a while.”
Monchi spoke just before Di Francesco to insist they would not “weaken the squad,” but pointedly did not deny big exits either. Will Dzeko play against Inter tomorrow?
“Yes, he is very motivated and eager to do well. I hope he can be decisive. We’ve been working in training on how to approach the goalmouth and attack more efficiently.
“I hope the rumours won’t affect the players. There is a reason the transfer window is the worst period for Coaches, as a player experiences these things differently.
“I think we’ve built our future already. I am calm, as what I want from my players is the right attitude and performance. I don’t like words, I prefer action, and so far we haven’t had enough action. We haven’t shown lately what we are capable of and have lost sight of certain sensations. I hope to bring back that enthusiasm and we must inspire our fans.”
Di Francesco was asked if the Giallorossi had given up on their initial ambitions.
“I want to be clear that I never spoke about the Scudetto, I just said we could irritate the other teams and improve our position. At the same time, we are not stepping on to the pitch trying to finish eighth, ninth or tenth.
“It’s not fair to talk about the Scudetto. This is a very important week to give a response to ourselves and our fans. It would be absurd to suggest the team is lacking motivation or has given up lately. We’ve worked on the psychology of the situation.
“Perhaps it’s a subconscious situation that at Roma we always live moments excessively, in negative and positive. Just three weeks ago, people talked about us as a top level team, now it’s the opposite. If we just accept that ‘this is what it’s like at Roma,’ then we’ll never change it.
“I am convinced we can change it.”
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