Zdenek Zeman remains bullish after the derby defeat and insists he has “not made big mistakes” ahead of Monday’s Roma-Torino.
The Coach was under fire from fans, media and reportedly players following the 3-2 loss to arch rivals Lazio, which saw Daniele De Rossi sent off and given a three-game ban.
“I am happy that the club kept its faith in me. I believe in this project, just as they do. This team has value and can play good football.”
Miralem Pjanic seemed to shout angrily towards the bench after he scored, though last week everyone involved had assured he wasn’t aiming anything at Zeman.
“The lad came over afterwards to apologise, so evidently he must’ve said something,” confessed the Coach in today’s Press conference.
“I am used to it, as I’ve been on a football field for 40 years and seen it happen everywhere. I understand his frustration and he wants to play, just like all the others, so he let something out after that goal.
“Mattia Destro is back after suspension and he knows we are focusing a great deal on him. I think he’ll do well at Roma, though whether that is from tomorrow or next week is another matter.
“I have never had a player complain to me about my tactics, that was all stirred up by the newspapers and therefore of no interest to me.”
Roma’s Serie A game is to be played on Monday evening because the Stadio Olimpico was used for the Italy-New Zealand rugby match this weekend.
“I want to see the team play football and remain concentrated for a full 90 minutes,” continued Zeman ahead of the Torino clash.
“It is only normal that a Coach wants to see his team play good football and achieve results, which for now haven’t arrived because of distractions or other issues. We must all give ourselves objectives and I have been convinced since pre-season that this team is competitive and can challenge anyone.
“I continue to say this side must play to win and not fear anybody. I am happy with the team and the way we play. We conceded some strange and even ugly goals in the derby, but hopefully we’ll get the chance to make the most of other people’s errors too.
“I never got the feeling that Roma wanted to get rid of me. Obviously if you lose seven games in a row then you’ll feel under pressure, but we haven’t done that.
“When I do something, I am convinced it is the right thing. I have not made big mistakes. It is only natural that seeing as I am responsible for this team, I have to answer for the results, but for the most part our defeats have been down to distraction.
“Torino are very strong away from home, as they put five goals past Atalanta and also picked up five draws. You can see they focus on defence and it is up to us to break them down. It takes a lot of hard work and patience.”
De Rossi, Nicolas Burdisso and Panagiotis Tachtsidis are suspended, joining the injured Maarten Stekelenburg and Rodrigo Taddei.
Roma squad for Torino: Balzaretti, Bradley, Castan, Destro, Dodo, Florenzi, Goicoechea, Lamela, Lobont, Lopez, Marquinho, Marquinhos, Osvaldo, Perrotta, Piris, Pjanic, Romagnoli, Svedkauskas, Totti
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!