Serie A TIM

SPALLETTI: "MENTAL MISTAKES HURT US AGAIN"

Goals from Andrea Belotti and Iago Falque (twice) condemned the Giallorossi to a second loss in the league, despite Francesco Totti's 250th goal in Serie A giving the visitors a way back into the game.
Speaking afterwards to Sky Sports, the coach suggested his side had been unfortunate in the opening period - which saw Belotti score after eight minutes - but after that had failed to respond in the right way.

Were there too many individual errors in defence today?
"I always say that you should judge the team as a whole. We were a bit too stretched, which meant the defence had to work on their own. As a result, the side wasn't able to cover the right spaces that might have been useful in each scenario."

Was the team missing their usual cutting edge up front?
"We were probably missing a bit of determination. We messed up a few chances at the beginning and had these chances been better exploited, we definitely could have directed the contest in a different direction. On the contrary, when we let them in for their first chance of the game, Torino scored".

"More generally, for a long time this team has shown too many highs and lows, both under myself and other coaches. When they're able to feed off the enthusiasm from our fans, they're able to produce more than they usually can. On the other hand, as soon as they encounter difficulties the heads drop and confusion sets in because they mistakenly think that the potential quality of the players is enough to pull something out of the bag, without rolling up their sleeves and searching for more effort and hard work. Consequently, this is when the opponents demonstrate precisely these qualities and therefore what Roma have to offer is not enough." 

So these highs and lows are more psychological than physical in their nature?
"Yes, because a disconnect emerges between the technical aspect and what happens on the pitch. There's always this presumption that things will happen by themselves purely because of the prestige of the club, the quality in the squad and the importance of the shirt. However, this is not the case because the way to victory and success is always in the opposite direction to this way of thinking."

Totti was playing very deep today, almost in midfield. 
"Yes, I asked him to drop because I didn't want him to get sucked into the traffic around Torino's defence. There was too many bodies near the opponent's penalty area and so I thought that, with his ability, he'd have a greater chance of finding a pass or an assist from five metres further back."

Did you see the hard work and cutting edge you demanded pre-match?
"Unfortunately, our history suggests that we don't always maintain the level of hard work and effort needed to compete in one-on-one battles, put in the hard yards or try to help our team-mates. We have peaks and troughs and we definitely have to address this during the week. If this tendency exists, the coach is the first to take the blame because he needs to keep up a more measured attitude in the squad, without any of these jolts."

(Photo LaPresse)

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