Di Francesco, De Rossi speak ahead of Qarabag

John Solano

Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco and midfielder Daniele De Rossi spoke today ahead of tomorrow’s decisive clash against Qarabag. Here are their words:


How are Perotti and Nainggolan?
They will both be called and will be available against Qarabag, we are very happy about this. We are evaluating Kolarov, was forced off due to fatigue against SPAL, today he will have his final training session but I think he will play.

Have you considered Atletico beating Chelsea while Roma wins and finishes top?
We must focus on this match and on our strength. Our destiny passes thru our hands and our strength, then we will see what happens. We want to qualify for the second round and to do that we have to win tomorrow night.

How have the teams changed since the first meeting?
We must give any weight to the victory in Baku, it is never easy to win in Europe. The team is slowly adopting the mentality that I ask.

Florenzi played against SPAL despite the disqualification of Peres for tomorrow. Is that not a risk?
Without risks you can’t be a manager. Florenzi is growing and I did not want to stop him, we worked on important concepts and I wanted him to apply them. It was a risk but I badly wanted Florenzi to play.



There’s been a lot of talk about you: how do you restart after your recent episode?
I spoke initially and I apologised, if I could go back in time I would do so willingly. But now I am focused on the upcoming matches because already the next one is very important. Thinking about what happened against Genoa does not help.

Did you see the banner? Does that please you?
Very much so, the fans are always close to me in times of difficulty. I was at home, I was very happy. My future? No promises, those are best to avoid in football.

How do you prepare for a match like tomorrow’s?
I have experience, but every match is unique. We must be concentrated. We must not be hasty.

You said it would be difficult to replace Spalletti. Have you changed your mind?
I was right, even though he was thought of as someone who did damage to Roma. He also had problems with Francesco, but I wanted to emphasize his ability. I said it would be difficult, not impossible. The first 6 months of Mister Di Francesco are perhaps the best 6 months we’ve ever had.

Tomorrow the “OK” should arrive for the new stadium. Will De Rossi play in the 2020-21 season?
Today that is not a priority. I would be 38, it seems difficult, even if mentally and physically I’m good. I’m worried about the knockout stages, not the stadium.

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