Wednesday February 23 2011
Montella: 'Why I made my picks...'

Vincenzo Montella explained his decisions after winning his debut. “Being the Roma Coach is a dream for so many and for me it's just the start.”

The former player was drafted in after Claudio Ranieri's resignation on Sunday and had just two days to prepare for the rescheduled Week 22 game with Bologna.

“I've been told I am a cool-headed person and it's true I worked in preparation for this match with a little more of a detached style that many expected, but considering the tension that accumulated, I can say I was very moved at the final whistle.

“I thank the lads for how our story will go and how it will end, as they have given me this hugely exciting moment at my age,” added the 36-year-old, who is the youngest tactician in Serie A.

“Being the Roma Coach is a dream for so many, often the epilogue of a career, and for me it's just the start. I thanked the club for giving me the keys to this team.”

Daniele De Rossi scored the only goal at the Dall'Ara with the aid of a deflection, but Montella raised eyebrows by benching Francesco Totti, Jeremy Menez, Julio Sergio and Juan.

“We studied Bologna, who are excellent at creating density in midfield and releasing Marco Di Vaio into space. Our wingers did well to control their system and the whole team stopped them getting much purchase.

“How do I deal with Totti? I saw him in good shape recently and he will certainly be important for this squad. In my view, at this moment the team cannot support a trident attack.

“Benching him was a technical decision and Francesco was fine. I am sure he'll drag the side along with him soon. I don't say that because I am the Roma Coach, but Totti is training at a better level than when we were playing together. He can set an example for everyone and I am counting on him.”

Montella certainly did not pull his punches when explaining the decision to drop Julio Sergio for Alexandre Doni.

“As for the goalkeeper, I always try to be transparent. If Doni played, it is because I consider him to be better, even if it's nasty to say that.

“Julio Sergio had an extraordinary campaign, but overall I prefer Doni. I forced David Pizarro to play, even if he is not 100 per cent yet, as I need him. He was exceptional and stayed on the field to the end.”