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Di Francesco: We switched on in the second half

Coach Eusebio Di Francesco was happy with his side's second half response as Roma continued their good form in Serie A with a 4-2 win over Fiorentina on Sunday.

The Giallorossi led twice in the first half at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, only to be pegged back on both occasions. But they came out in the second half and killed the game off - with Kostas Manolas and Diego Perotti building on Gerson's earlier brace.

The result was Roma's 12th straight away win in the league - a new Serie A record.

No team has ever won 12 consecutive away games in Serie A before. You've managed to win on the road again today despite conceding two goals...

"Those were the first goals we've conceded away from home in Serie A this season. It was a great game with real intensity. It looked like we had the match right where we wanted it in the first half, but then we conceded. We were well aware of how good Fiorentina are - they're a great team and you have to hand it to them for how they played today. We were expecting lots of desire after their bad defeat against Crotone. They're a good side and I can assure you that it's never easy to win here."

Mentally, you always seem to have that extra gear. There's a sense of calm to your play regardless of who the opponent is.

"I have to say that we changed the game plan around for the start of the second half. After our first goal we dropped off a bit and didn't work well as a team when defending, which is what has allowed us to get the results we have up until this point. We showed a bit of naivety which let Fiorentina score. The most switched-on teams are the ones that win the important matches.

"I was wary of this away trip because we were coming off the back of the win over Chelsea and there was a risk that we might have become over-confident, but we produced a top reaction despite our patchy play in the first half."

You've shown great belief in Gerson and he's repaid you with his performance today.

"I'd followed him since my time at Sassuolo - back then he was playing further up, like he did today. He was put to me as a midfielder, which is a position he can definitely play, but he's got fantastic quality and as a left-footed player he can perform really well out on the wing. He had a great game in that position today - he cut in often and got us playing nicely.

"That said, I want to give credit to Edin Dzeko today: he ran all the way back in the 90th minute to stop a Fiorentina counter-attack. That kind of team attitude is really important. Even if he doesn't score, Edin is a vital player to the team."

What happened with the two goals you conceded today?

"Our shape got a bit flat at times, but mistakes happen. We scored one of our own goals after we won the ball back quickly in their half of the field. When you have the ball, you need to take risks, but of course it's the team that makes the fewest mistakes that gets the result."

How is your Roma team progressing generally? You seem to be getting better and better, including on a psychological level.

"This group needs to be aware of what it's doing. We need to go and press teams in their half of the pitch - our goals came from us winning the ball back today. That's the kind of attitude that needs to define us. On the other hand, the goals we conceded today stemmed from us dropping deep. Despite the fact that we often leave a lot of space open, we always do a great job of defending and that's down to hard work. The most important thing for my players is how they think: I need them to put my ideas into practice and now they're really buying into them."

You had a point when you asked for patience back in the summer...

"It's not my responsibility to be asking people for patience - I just work out on the pitch. Sometimes, people can be sceptical when they don't know somebody. I've got my ideas across on the training pitch and showed some top players how to take the next step. I'm really pleased with the run of away victories, which carries on from the work [Luciano] Spalletti did last season. I hope we can continue winning on the road so I can achieve a record all of my own."

Next up after the international break is the derby. Is it a match between title contenders?

"I don't think one match can decide the title. The derby isn't like other matches - I've experienced it as a player. It doesn't fit into the wider context of the league but we'll try to get the three points as that would be a big boost for our position in the table."
Source: As Roma
Sunday November 05, 2017
 
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