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Di Francesco: Attack can improve but it was a solid start

Coach Eusebio Di Francesco was in a positive mood after seeing his side beat Torino 1-0 on Sunday evening.

Kicking off the new Serie A campaign with a victory thanks to Edin Dzeko's emphatic late strike, Di Francesco cautioned against drawing too many conclusions from the match - but was nevertheless content with the display from his charges.

The coach acknowledged, however, that the side could get sharper in attack.

Read what he had to say in his post-match interview.

What did you make of Edin Dzeko’s goal?

"It was a great goal. Sometimes he misses the easy ones but he’s got us used to stunners like that."

Did the introduction of Justin Kluivert change the game?

"Our passing game was better in the first half but we were lacking in the final ball. After the break we found it tough going but the three that came off the bench did a great job.

"I was expecting Kluivert to be ready. He still needs to understand how to lose his man but he can make teams pay, as he did today."

How do you explain the periods when Roma suffered during the game?

"We knew it wasn’t going to be easy against Torino. All the teams are tough prospects so we need to be able to get our noses in front earlier."

Where can you improve?

"The team can improve in both attack and defence. When you want to try and create chances you know you’re going to run a few risks.

"In my eyes the main area for improvement is in attack – we lacked that clarity of thought in the final ball today. I don’t want to be too extreme in my criticism or praise – the whole team needs to keep improving and developing."

Is it going to be a straight race between Juventus, Roma and Napoli as it has been for the past three seasons?

"I hope so, but the Milan sides have strengthened, especially Inter. I’m not interested in speaking about the title race – I just want to focus on improving the team, from the young players through to the more experienced guys like [Javier] Pastore, who I’m sure will give us plenty to shout about."

Speaking of Pastore, we saw him playing a little more centrally at times and as a wide forward. Will that be how you use him going forward?

"He can play as a trequartista and an inside forward. He’s a quality player and needs game time. I’m pleased with how he’s looking, but he needs to improve his passing game and up the quality of those decisive passes. He lacked clarity in that respect today but that was true of the whole team."

Can this Roma do even better than the team did last year?

"I hope so. We want that. Two great players have left but they’ve been replaced. [Robin] Olsen transmitted real security to the team, regardless of that one moment of uncertainty.

"It’s not just about the saves he made, but the way he played with the ball at feet, despite his height. I’m really pleased with that."

 
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