Eusebio Di Francesco hailed an impressive team performance as Roma beat Viktoria Plzen 5-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Giallorossi made it three wins in a row with an emphatic display at the Stadio Olimpico, as Edin Dzeko stole the headlines with a hat-trick.
But Di Francesco was content with almost every aspect of the performance.
The hunger and desire to entertain was back on show tonight...
“We showed consistency in this respect and actually I was really pleased with the team. Our midfielders are beginning to move better and interchange play well, which is what we’ve been working on in the last few days with the 4-2-3-1, but without losing the mentality of trying to get our wingers into the area.
"I’m pleased with how they went about the game; we got onto the right track early on. It’s never easy to win in the Champions League, but we played well and entertained the public. Scoring plenty of goals in the group stage makes a difference.”
After a few experiments, do you think you’ve found the right approach?
“I was trying to find the right solutions for this team. We all know it’s never easy to experiment at Roma, but I’ve always tried to put the players in the right system. I didn’t want to change my 4-3-3 completely, but eventually I realised it was necessary to change something with the players and the set-up. We’ve come up with the correct response, so now I’ll try to change things as little as possible.
"The players may rotate, but we’ll try to be consistent in our play. It’s my approach to teach them certain concepts during training and I’m happy with what the players then showed on the pitch: determination and the desire to play together.”
Lorenzo Pellegrini played fantastically in a new position, almost better than Radja Nainggolan. Could he become an important player for this team?
“I’m delighted for Lorenzo, I really wanted to bring him to Sassuolo and he developed alongside me there. He’s often played in attacking midfielder, but I’ve used him in that position before in a 4-2-3-1 and he’s responded really well there. I hope he can become better than Nainggolan. He can cause damage in that position, he looks to play it forward and he understands the role superbly. I’m really happy, the lad deserves it.
"Sometimes he’s been on the receiving end of unfair criticism but he’s shown the character to dive into this position really well. Obviously, goals and good performances have given him confidence that he didn’t have before.”