Sunday January 21 2018
EDF: 'Roma injuries piled up'

Eusebio Di Francesco blamed injuries and poor fitness levels for Roma’s 1-1 draw with Inter and shrugged off Edin Dzeko questions.

“We put in a very good performance for 65-70 minutes. The team then lost intensity, I had few midfield options, there were cramps all over the place and that forced my hand,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“We got increasingly pinned back, weren’t countering the way we had for long periods and it’s disappointing we were unable to make all that hard work count.

“The biggest mistake we made was not closing down on the opponents quite as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t have many options available, so I tried to use the substitutes I had and to limit their attacking down the wings. We made a mistake and Inter punished us for it.

“We weren’t sharp and as time wore on we got more passes wrong. If you look at the players on the bench, I only had centre-backs, strikers or youngsters. Objectively, Florenzi was the only player who could push forward and didn’t have cramp.”

Radja Nainggolan and Gerson seemed to be exchanging positions in supporting the attack during Diego Perotti’s absence.

“I made him play a little further forward today and it was satisfying. Nainggolan could’ve been a little more incisive, but I liked his performance.

“We leave here with some regret, because despite all the problems we had, we came here wanting to take away the three points. We deserved more, just as we did in the home game against Inter.”

Roma have scored only four goals in the last six rounds and inevitably Di Francesco was asked about Dzeko, who is reportedly on the verge of a transfer to Chelsea.

“Dzeko is important to the project, otherwise I wouldn’t have started him. I am not in charge of the transfer market, so those are not questions for me. I will only say he’s an important player and I try to use the most important players.”

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