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RANIERI: "The best game since I've been here. Conte? I'd be happy if he came."

Read what coach Claudio Ranieri had to say following Roma's 3-0 victory over Cagliari on Saturday evening.

The Giallorossi picked up an important three points in the race for the Champions League places thanks to goals from Federico Fazio, Javier Pastore and Aleksandar Kolarov.

When did you decide to play Javier Pastore?
"It was a decision I made by watching him in training - that's when my players talk to me. I'd been thinking of starting him for a while. This was the right game because he'd been looking very good this week."

It was a solid team performance today though, wasn't it? Is this the best Roma have played with you as coach?
"Yes, it's definitely the best performance since I joined. We got two early goals and that helped settle any nerves. There aren't many teams with the quality we have here. I tell them to play as a team, play for each other, don't try to go it alone or be selfish. Today they did that for 90 minutes."

They seem to be tidier and and more disciplined now. Do you think that's why they're less tense?
"Yes, I agree with that. I said before that we let Inter put too many crosses in last week, and Cagliari are very good at getting the ball out wide, with [Leonardo] Pavoletti and Joao Pedro causing problems in the middle. That's why our two wingers put in a massive shift tracking back and getting forward today."

Will you be watching your rivals for a top-four spot tomorrow? Have you worked out how things might pan out?
"No, I haven't worked anything out. Tomorrow I'm going to spend some quality time with the family."

Have you helped people form a different opinion of certain players who were considered to have had a poor season until now?
"I think what happened is some big players left this team and those who stayed felt a little disappointed. Perhaps the new lads weren't helped enough by the older players - not because they didn't want to but because they still had last year on their minds. Things like that can affect a dressing room. They're getting back on track now and they have more belief in themselves.

"With Pastore, it's not a case of getting him to express his potential because his ability is unlimited. I just said to him: 'Do your thing because there aren't many players with your talent but defend the way I want you to. If you do that, I'll be happy.'"
Saturday April 27, 2019
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