Di Francesco pleased by players’ willingness to learn

Speaking to Roma TV in Boston, ahead of the side’s International Champions Cup match against Tottenham, Eusebio Di Francesco said he was happy with the attitude shown by his players so far.

“I’m glad about the lads’ willingness to try and understand what I want from them,” he said.

With Roma having reached the half-way point of their tour of the USA, Di Francesco underlines that there is still work to be done.

“We’ve gone through a fair bit of training, but there is still lots of work we need to do. Taking care of each and every detail can make sure that the boys have that little bit more certainty.

“That’s what we’re working on for the time being, building up high intensity and wasting no time.”

Are you satisfied with what you have managed so far?
“I’m pleased but I need more time to be satisfied. There’s still a great deal to work on but I knew that right from the start. This team has space to grow collectively and in terms of the work we do in attack.”

Have the players who were on international duty slotted in okay?

“Of course, there are individual qualities that are key in and of themselves. Before these players arrived, I called them, asking them to go through a five-day training programme. They all turned up in the right shape. I needed that from them, seeing as three days later we’d be playing Paris Saint-Germain. Things could have gone badly, but the attitude I saw from the players in the game was pleasing to me.”

What do you expect to see against Tottenham?

“I expect some steps forward, from a tactical viewpoint and in the team’s compactness. I hope to see more fluid work from the players, which we didn’t really get against PSG in the first half. But that’s to be expected.”

Should we expect to see a lot of rotation throughout the year?

“We need to have that mindset from the start. It’s easy in football to coach players who are always in the team. We need to do a good job and make sure all the players are ready to enter the fray and make a key contribution. Physiologically, it’s almost impossible to always play and that needs to be kept in mind. We want numerous top-level players within the team.

“The club and the sporting director are doing well on the basis of what’s been requested, not only what I’ve asked but what the team needs. We want to build a group, so we have two players in each position, to create a good level of competition.”

Is that why you’ve spent a lot of time with the youngsters here?

“I coach every player. All the players that are available to me are treated as if they’d be starters. That’s the approach I take and what I try and transmit to them. When a young player shows that they can hold their own among the older guys, I know that sooner or later I’ll give them the opportunity.”