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Spalletti: We have eight games to define our future

Luciano Spalletti believes applying extra focus on the basics will be crucial as Roma look to avoid a hangover effect from their midweek Coppa Italia exit.

The Giallorossi face Bologna on Sunday afternoon, the first of their eight remaining Serie A fixtures this season. With everything still to play for in the league the coach is acutely aware how pivotal the run-in could be - and wants the players to get their mind right so Tuesday's cup exit against Lazio does not have a lingering impact.

"We have eight games left to play and they could prove decisive in shaping the future of this club and the future of this team," Spalletti said. "There's a lot to play for and that's what I'm focusing all my efforts on.

"There is a risk that our cup exit might have repercussions and knock us out of our stride but we've spoken together and said we need to be even more professional and work even harder on certain things, like getting behind the ball and winning tackles - that's crucial if we want to get through this moment.

"We have to grin and bear it but the lads have looked full of desire and determination in the last few days."

The coach expects Bologna to provide determined opposition, with their mid-table position meaning they can attack the Giallorossi without fear or pressure.

"Donadoni is a highly professional, experienced coach and he's always been able to get his teams playing good football," Spalletti added. "Bologna can be hard to read because they have pace and power up front and skilful players.

"They've also won two of their last three games and they only lost at Fiorentina in the final minutes. They're in a comfortable league position so they're under no pressure to get a result. It's going to be a very tricky game and we'll need to be at our absolute best if we want to win it."
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