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    Cristante: “We must reach the next round to repay our fans”

    Bryan Cristante took part in the pre-match news conference the day before Thursday's Europa League play-off second leg between Roma and Feyenoord. This is what the midfielder to say...

    A record attendance is expected at the Olimpico tomorrow. How big a difference could that make?

    “It will definitely make a difference. The crowd has always been magnificent and it's always special to play in a stadium that's packed to the rafters.

    “We have to thank all our fans for creating such an incredible atmosphere at the Olimpico and the only way to repay them is by reaching the next round.”

    At the start of the season, you said that switching to a playmaker role had been a pleasant surprise for you. With Leo Paredes in the team, you're more of a box-to-box player, making those runs forward as you did at the start of your career. Is this another pleasant surprise or do you think you're better suited to the playmaker role?

    “It's not a surprise because it's the position I played until a few seasons ago. As I've said before, it doesn't make much difference to me which of the two I play in as I'm used to both.

    “With experience I've figured out what each position entails: you need to do things differently, use the ball differently. But I think I've got it sussed now. I'm perfectly at ease in either position.”

    You've been at Roma for six years. Can you see yourself ending your career here?

    “I've been here for a while and I'm happy here. I like it at this club. We've started out on a new path and I'm focused on doing well in the present, on ending the season well and achieving our targets as a team, which are important. We're still in contention.

    “I don't feel the need to move on. We all know that anything can happen in football but I don't feel the need.”

    What's it like having your former team-mate as coach? What effect did his shouting have on you at half time against Frosinone?

    “He came in and needed no introductions because he knew the club but to join mid-season in a slightly tricky situation and coach players that you've played with before, or worked with in a different guise, could have caused problems. But I think right from the start he struck the right balance to manage the group and the situation, which was anything but easy.

    “We're happy with what we're doing and what we're becoming, with what we're building day after day. With the new ideas and new situations.

    “I think it's proving to be the right decision taken by the club in a tough moment. It might have looked like a bit of a gamble by the club because Daniele was a great player but didn't have much experience as a coach, yet it's turning out to be a good choice.”

    How confident are you and the team that you can go all the way in this competition?

    “When you play lots of European games, it gives you confidence and you become familiar with the little details that can make the difference in a knockout tie. But of course every match is a different story.

    “We feel comfortable playing in Europe. When things get difficult we know what choices to make.

    “Tomorrow is a make-or-break match and we must use all of our experience to turn in a great performance and reach the next round.”

    Do you believe you can reach the final?

    “Of course. That's one of our targets. We want to go all the way and we're certainly capable of it. We have a great team, we're playing well and things are going swimmingly with the coach. We want to reach the final again and hopefully win it. We'll give it our all and keep trying till the end.”