Di Francesco’s Cagliari inspired by Roma

Eusebio Di Francesco explains what inspired him to switch Cagliari’s tactical system against Lazio. ‘I used it when Roma beat Barcelona.’

The switch to a three-man defence with January signing Daniele Rugani getting his debut from the start did successfully neutralise Lazio for an hour until Ciro Immobile found a way through.

“It was rather irritating in the final stages to see the ball boys disappearing and certain attitudes that were geared to wind us up, but it ended there on the pitch. I think a little irritation is acceptable,” the former Roma coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We came here with numerous players unavailable, so I had to make adjustments, but we also allowed Lazio very few real chances.

“We had both the opportunities to equalise and to take the lead. It’s a tactical system I also used at Roma when we beat Barcelona in the Champions League, so it’s not entirely new to me. We just need to work on it and get it moving more smoothly.

“What we lacked today was a bit of quality in the final ball when we went on the counter-attack.”

The Sardinians are now without a victory in precisely three months, since the 2-0 result against Sampdoria on November 7.

They have also been transformed in the January window by new arrivals, including the return of Radja Nainggolan.

“Nainggolan is trying to find his form and I want to help him reach that level. He wanted very strongly to come back to Cagliari, but let’s not forget he hardly played this season at Inter.

“Kwadwo Asamoah had three training sessions with us, but is actually better than expected in terms of fitness. Rugani was able to start because he played a few games with Rennes, but not many.

“We want to be an attacking team, but we also cannot lose our identity.”


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