Spalletti appears on Roma Radio

John Solano

Roma manager Luciano Spalletti appeared on Roma Radio this morning, here are the words of the Roma technician.

Now there’s Atalanta.
We have to be good enough to take the game by the scruff of the neck and control proceedings. We have the ability to do that and we need to exploit it. Atalanta are a stubborn side. They’ve made it hard for everyone at their place and if we tried to go toe to toe with them in a physical battle they’d probably come out on top. But if we can control 70% of the game I think our quality will come to the fore.

Monday’s draw hasn’t dented enthusiasm…
If you look at the game there’s not a lot to say really, other than that we have to keep on this path we’re on. We were a little worried the players might have relaxed a bit [after the derby] but they didn’t. They got their approach spot on and played well. Sometimes it’s the small details that go for or against you that make all the difference.

After the match you mentioned that Edin Dzeko had a problem. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I decided to have Edin train separately on Sunday because he had a small problem. We’re able to manage situations like that in this period. On Monday we thought it had cleared up but then when he tried to push it, his muscle tightened up again. He had a scan which showed it would be risky for him to play the whole game. He would have started the match if he hadn’t had that problem but with things as they were we decided to reduce the risk to a minimum.

Is it possible to break down teams who try to shut up shop by playing with a lightweight frontline?
Of course. We might have scored one of those chances we had early on, when our passing wasn’t quite up to scratch considering the ability of our players. If we’d scored one of those it would have been a different game and probably would have gone like the derby. We did an excellent job of stemming Bologna’s counter-attacks, reducing our energy expenditure when they broke forward, and the quality of our attacking play was fairly good.

How is Kevin Strootman doing?
We’d planned to bring him on against Bologna depending on how the game went. He’s still not quite there yet and it would be better for him to do it by playing in real match situations. His quality and strength – both mentally and on the pitch – are factors I’m bearing in mind. He’s certainly not lacking in character. I think one of the areas we can improve is in winning loose balls and in those ‘I want to make it mine’ situations.

What’s your view on hitting the post three times?
I don’t call it bad luck. If you hit the post it means you’ve done well but need to do slightly better if you want it to go inside the post.

Are you going to watch the Napoli game on Saturday?
Of course. I’ll watch all the games. And a few cartoons too!