Di Francesco unperturbed by 'tough time' at Roma

Pressure is mounting on Eusebio Di Francesco, but he is concentrated on guiding Roma into the last eight of the Champions League.

Following a bad run of results, Eusebio Di Francesco is happy to shoulder the blame rather than blame others.   -  Getty Images

Eusebio Di Francesco admits he and Roma are going through "a tough time" but his sole focus is to guide the Giallorossi through to the Champions League quarterfinals.

Roma was dealt a hugely damaging 3-0 derby defeat by rival Lazio on Saturday, putting Di Francesco under pressure ahead of a European second leg against Porto in midweek.

This has been pinpointed as a key game for the head coach, yet he is keen for Roma to take centre stage as it seeks to defend a 2-1 lead in Portugal, setting aside his personal fortunes for the time being.

"I would like to draw attention not to Di Francesco, but to Roma," he told a news conference.

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"My thoughts do not go to myself, but to my boys, for Roma to play a great game. It's not Di Francesco's game, but the players'. The important thing is that Roma go through.

"I'm always thinking of the next game. After a positive run, we're having a tough time. The derby has damaged morale, but we must think about this game. This is a bit of a game of life or death."

With Kostas Manolas injured, Roma's back-line struggled against Lazio, with Federico Fazio particularly exposed.

But Di Francesco does not want to see individuals picked out and criticised at a key stage of the season, happy to instead shoulder the blame himself.

He responded: "If we talk about individuals who made a mistake, we have to talk about the collective that approached the game very badly - including, first of all, the coach."

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