Sunday October 18 2020
Di Francesco: 'Cagliari overloads on the right'

Eusebio Di Francesco explains his tactical changes to fit Cagliari characteristics after a 3-2 victory away to Torino. ‘We created overloads on the right.’

The Sardinians celebrated their first win of the season and it was a tough slog at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

“The tactical choices were to push Gabriele Zappa up with Nahitan Nandez and immediately create overloads on the right, where we caused huge problems for Torino,” Di Francesco told Sky Sport Italia.

“I am very happy with the first half, slightly less with the second. We conceded the goals a little too naively, but that’s part of the game.

“The team is improving and growing as the season goes on. It’s satisfying when I see players eager to work hard and learn, such as Riccardo Sottil. He needs a little more of a clinical edge in front of goal, but I am sure that will come.

“Zappa comes from Serie B, but he played with a lot of character and impressed me again today. When you get results, they help the overall self-esteem within the squad to grow.

“I was asked to give an identity and mentality to this team, so that is what I am trying to do. Results will help us speed up the process and grow belief.”

Giovanni Simeone scored twice, with Joao Pedro getting the other goal, as the 4-2-3-1 formation is working well.

“Leonardo Pavoletti has been out practically for a year, but his determination is genuinely incredible and he’s training well.

“Simeone tends to throw himself into every situation, sometimes a bit too much, but was a little more organised and a team player today.

“I took something away from my system in order to move towards the characteristics of my players. Joao Pedro sees the goal, he moves well, but I am convinced he can do even better in that trequartista role.”

Di Francesco is hoping to reboot his career after a brief and dismal spell on the Sampdoria bench last season.

“I chose to leave Sampdoria last season and gave up on the salary I would’ve been owed, because I realised that I was in the right place at the wrong time. I made a few mistakes in recent years, so I wanted to take time and think carefully about the next choice.

“There is a great sense of belonging at Cagliari and I am reading a book about the history of this club, it really does stir affection.”

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