Di Francesco drops Rugani hint

Eusebio Di Francesco hints he could start Daniele Rugani in a new tactical system against Lazio. ‘I need to save Cagliari and it’s all about the points right now.’

It kicks off on Sunday at 17.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

At the start of his press conference, the coach listed the players who are out of action, including Riccardo Sottil, Alessandro Deiola, Alfred Duncan, Ragnar Klavan and Luca Ceppitelli.

Eusebio Di Francesco hints he could start Daniele Rugani in a new tactical system against Lazio. ‘I need to save Cagliari and it’s all about the points right now.’

It kicks off on Sunday at 17.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

At the start of his press conference, the coach listed the players who are out of action, including Riccardo Sottil, Alessandro Deiola, Alfred Duncan, Ragnar Klavan and Luca Ceppitelli.

He was therefore asked if he’d consider moving to a three-man defence against Lazio, giving January signing Daniele Rugani his debut?

“I am evaluating every option, also based on who is available to play. I will not give you any more clues than that,” smiled Di Francesco.

“It’s also not necessarily true that we need a playmaker. It’s a delicate role where you need physicality, stamina and tactical intelligence. It’s not good that we are constantly having to make do and try to create someone in that position.

“Rugani is in good shape and could be in the starting XI. Kwadwo Asamoah needs a little more fitness work, but he’s actually in better condition than I expected, so he could come off the bench if needed.

“Lazio are a side currently preparing for the Champions League Round of 16 and have an excellent coach like Simone Inzaghi. With Pepe Reina, their goalkeeper has almost become a deep-lying playmaker, so it’s a team with many alternatives.

“We need to face them with the right attitude and our objective is to fight for the result.”

Cagliari bucked the trend in Serie A by extending Di Francesco’s contract despite a series of defeats.

“I personally need to get Cagliari to stay in Serie A. I am not that interested at this stage on how we achieve this, it’s all about the points right now.

“We have to get out of this situation, then we can start to focus on more beautiful football. Having said that, we’ve had some good performances and I think in the long-run that maintaining an authentic identity does pay off. It’s just been difficult so far because of injuries and COVID.

“We’ve just got to roll our sleeves up now and go forward with resilience.”

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