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Di Francesco: We could have been more clinical

Read everything coach Eusebio Di Francesco had to say in the wake of Wednesday's 1-0 win over Crotone.

Diego Perotti scored the night's only goal from the penalty spot after just 10 minutes.

INTERVIEWER: That was an important win, because it's not easy to play once every three days.

DI FRANCESCO: "We won the game, but we could have done better in an offensive sense, taking the chances we created. We hit the post twice - perhaps it's a bit of bad luck because it's happened numerous times this year. But we could have been more clinical in front of goal, especially having created so much. I made changes and we still got three points - that's important as we chase the teams ahead of us."

With such a hectic schedule you made several changes, but is six of the eleven too many?

"Taking into account that, from the Chelsea game until today, we've played three games in six days, I think it's physiologically difficult to get players to play every game, especially in certain positions on the pitch. I think it's the right thing to make changes, obviously considering the match and the condition players are in. Today Rick Karsdorp played, having not featured in the last five competitive clashes, but he was in there with players that have featured more consistently this season."

If Roma won their game in hand against Sampdoria, the team would be up there with the top four teams - separated by just four points. Do you agree with Massimiliano Allegri that this Scudetto will go right to the wire? Do you think you'll be in the mix too?

"I hope so - that's the right way to think. If Massimiliano says so, it's because he's very experienced. You need to play and win games, even when you're up against it. This team is growing - we've got the best defence in the league, the key attributes. But to be a top side we need to be more clinical in this sort of match."

Of the sixteen goals you've scored, very few have been supplied by your midfielders. It was more commonplace at Sassuolo. Why has it been difficult for these midfielders to score?

"I must say that Radja [Nainggolan] has had several chances - he's hit the woodwork a few times. Against Inter and Chelsea he went very close. During the interval I asked the two wider midfielders to get forward more. With compact sides like Crotone, you tend to have more of the ball. In the second half, they got forward more - perhaps they could have been more incisive. But that's okay - perhaps we'll get goals from our midfielders when we really need them. Of course, they do need to be more incisive."

Could Cengiz Under play as the main striker?

"Too many experiments aren't necessarily a good thing. I've already made lots of changes - those that can replace [Edin] Dzeko are [Gregoire] Defrel and [Patrik] Schick. Patrik isn't yet fully fit - we'll see if I can bring him on during the Bologna game."

There's been consistency in your Roma side. Is that the most important thing for you?

"Yes - regardless of our opponents. You don't win games with budgets or with good players alone, but by having the right mindset. We need to keep this up, knowing that we can win games 1-0 or 2-1, even against smaller sides. I have been on the other side myself and I can tell you we never made life easy for the big teams. The key is to win these games. Obviously we'd like it to be less of a struggle and to score more goals."
Source: As Roma
Wednesday October 25, 2017
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