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Need to Know: Di Francesco's key pre-Shakhtar comments

Eusebio Di Francesco held his pre-match press conference on Tuesday to preview the Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Wednesday's game at the Metalist Stadion gets underway at 20:45 CET (21:45 local time).

We've rounded up the key comments from the boss ahead of the clash - as he outlined how Roma need to be prepared for the clash and gave an update on Alessandro Florenzi's fitness.

On the importance of togetherness...
"We have to try and maintain a high tempo throughout the game. There will be times when we're in control of proceedings but we're up against a side who are very good in possession. We must stay strong as a unit. We've been looking a lot better recently and I hope to see further improvement tomorrow."

On the fitness of the squad...
"We've significantly upped the intensity of our training sessions. It adds a small element of risk but the idea is to fill up the tank for the business end of the campaign and I hope to see the benefits on the pitch. We must play with grit, determination and belief - they're all things that can make a difference out there."

On Cengiz Under's purple patch...
"Cengiz has been sensational lately - he's really come on in leaps and bounds. He's been key for us but I prefer to focus on the team rather than individuals. It's Roma who are going out there to play tomorrow, not Cengiz. We're delighted to have him here and we'll try to exploit his talent as best we can.

"I'm not going to tell you who will play tomorrow. I want to keep all the lads on their toes and I want everyone to feel important and involved."

On making a run in the Champions League...
"We've earned the right to be in the knockout stages and we want to make the most out of it now but we're up against a very talented team who are used to playing at this level. We have a 50% chance of going through and hopefully we'll be able to take a good result back to Rome for the return. For now, though, we're focused solely on this game."

On Alessandro Florenzi's fitness...
"Alessandro has stayed in the hotel because he's not well. Hopefully, he'll be available for selection but we'll have to see how he is tomorrow morning. If the game was today he wouldn't play and he won't train later either."
Source: AS Roma
Tuesday February 20, 2018
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