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Di Francesco: Everyone is starting to pull together in the right direction

Coach Eusebio Di Francesco praised match-winner Aleksandar Kolarov's winning mentality in the wake of Roma's 1-0 win over Torino on Sunday night.

The full-back scored the only goal of the game from a free-kick midway through the second half to clinch an important three points for the side, after another busy week for the group.

Read everything the boss had to say about the performance below...

Beating Torino was an important victory for Roma...

"We've achieved a huge victory at a tough place to play; the pitch here wasn't the best either. We were sloppy with our final ball, but we managed to keep control of the game against a team that cause problems for many other opponents."

The names on the team sheet changed, but the style of play was the same.

"We had two central defenders out of action today, so [Hector] Moreno made his debut and played excellently. His performance was proof that hard work pays off. He's a top lad with great technical ability, plus he's applying himself really hard. We did well in defence, stepping up when we had to and often playing their forwards offside. Maybe we lacked a bit of sparkle, especially in the first half, but I expected a bit of a sluggish game, partly because something has to give when you have difficult midweek fixtures like against Chelsea."

Are you in the hunt for the top spots, even though you still have to replay the match against Sampdoria?

"Not playing that game may end up being an advantage, but right now it's a disadvantage. You're constantly thinking you're in the chasing pack and this doesn't help. Let's continue with this mentality and make progress. I've managed to ensure all the players are involved and make themselves useful to the cause. This is very important."

Are we allowed to start talking about the Scudetto?

"After losing against Napoli, many pundits thought we had fallen out of the race. Unfortunately, there's no sense of balance in Italy and yet this is something I've always preached: we need to work hard to improve and develop, then we'll assess whether we can have a tilt at the title. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the constant growth this team is showing. I'm pleased. Maybe in a few matches, I'll say something different."

Victories away from home are starting to be a common feature of this team. Where are you in your development?

"I liked our attitude today, even though our final pass and execution of moves could have been crisper. [Edin] Dzeko was feeling bad all week but wanted to play and do his bit for the team. [Federico] Fazio was rested because of an ankle problem. Nevertheless, everyone is working hard to be a starting player. This is a bonus, it's the main reason for the improvement of the side."

Did you expect Aleksandar Kolarov to be so decisive?

"It's not enough yet, he can do even more! He has got fantastic technical ability, but the thing I like most about Aleksandar is his mentality."
Sunday October 22, 2017
 
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