Iachini: ‘Callejon striker against Roma’

Fiorentina coach Beppe Iachini suggests using Franck Ribery and Jose Callejon together upfront against Roma. ‘If Dries Mertens can make such an impact moving from winger to centre-forward…’

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“I am evaluating different solutions for the attack, including a ‘lighter’ front pairing of Franck Ribery and Jose Callejon,” confirmed the coach in his press conference.

“I wouldn’t rule out such a creative, quick and unpredictable front two. It can be a tactical variation we’d look at. Ribery, like German Pezzella, Borja Valero and Callejon, is an important player for us and having him on the pitch rather than the treatment table helps everyone to gain a sense of confidence.

“When we discovered Federico Chiesa could leave, I asked the club to get me Callejon, because he can cover so many different roles and tactical variables. He is more of a striker than a winger right now, as he hasn’t got the fitness levels to cover the whole flank. If Dries Mertens could make such an impact moving from winger to centre-forward…

“We’ve scored an average of two goals per game and tend to create a lot of chances, so I don’t see why we ought to be so worried about the attack. If anything, what we need to work on is the defence and keeping more clean sheets.

“There are moments during a season when not everything worse. We allowed a lot of comebacks lately and it’s a psychological issue, as we get scared when we concede a goal. Instead, we ought to be more positive and keep pressing.”

Roma played in the Europa League midweek, but struggled again with a 0-0 draw against CSKA Sofia, as Borja Mayoral was no match for benched Edin Dzeko.

“Edin is a fundamental player in Roma’s approach, because he doesn’t just score a lot of goals, he helps his teammates to score too. Roma are a very strong team and we need a great performance,” continued Iachini.

“Roma are even stronger than they were last season. This is going to be a dangerous match for us, above all we need concentration and character, because without those elements, we cannot think of leaving the Olimpico with points.

“I want to see the same Fiorentina that played against Inter, one that tries to go out there and play the game.”


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