De Rossi

De Rossi: ‘We have to finish sixth, the team deserves it’


Daneiel De Rossi says his Roma side have to finish in sixth place, despite losing 2-1 to Atalanta: “The group absolutely deserves it.” A brace from Charles De Ketelaere put the home side ahead, before Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty bought Roma back into the match. Speaking to DAZN (via Sky Sport Italia), De Rossi reflected on a tough week for the Giallorossi, and explained the change in mentality that he’s bought to the team:

“There was a reaction towards the end, after the penalty incident, but we should have reacted earlier. Considering that they are strong, they run twice as much as many teams in Italy, and perhaps even in Europe. But mental reactions exist in football, and that drive, sometimes we need to find it within ourselves, to win a few more duels, to make a few more right plays, because we can’t wait for a penalty to reopen the game. After the first goal, we loosened up and conceded another. I know it’s not easy to play against these teams here, in this stadium, in our current situation, but we risked conceding many goals, and that’s not good.”

Perhaps there was a lack of courage: “It’s not a question of courage or stepping back, but against Atalanta, who come at you strong, we had prepared for a more direct game. We knew we would probably end up man-to-man with Romelu and Hien, we kept possession with the goalkeeper because we knew we would open them up a bit, then when we had to play vertically, we had to support Romelu, and we perhaps succeeded a few times in the first half. That’s why I decided to put another attacker in; I thought maybe that way we would get there better.”

On the change in mentality in the second half: “In my opinion, the change in pace was mental. We saw a glimmer of hope to reopen it, even though we didn’t deserve it, and we did it in the last half-hour. Although they were also getting tired and had several chances. Playing vertically? We had prepared for it, the ball possession that I like is futile if you play against a team that comes to push you in. When you go vertical, you have to be able to go back up, to hold it, to go deep. And we are not a team with great depth.”

Now the team must recover energy for the final sprint: “We need to regain the energy we lost a bit because there are two important games left. We have to finish sixth by all means, because the group absolutely deserves it. Obviously, we don’t deserve to be ahead of this Atalanta if we are in these conditions, and to get to play against them, this last period of games has been really an obstacle, a tough challenge for the boys. We will rest and rebuild something more ready to face football at this level because strong teams play every three days, Atalanta does too. We can’t cling to fatigue; we have to be ready because they run twice as much, and if we want to catch up, we have to be more prepared.”


Serie A obsessive.