Roma back in the Champions League

Eusebio Di Francesco

Roma secured their return to the Champions League for next season on Saturday by virtue of Inter’s loss to Sassuolo.

The three-time Serie A winners head into Sunday’s league clash with Juventus with a top-four place secured, in third with 73 points although they could drop to fourth depending on Lazio’s result at Crotone.

Ahead of the weekend’s clash, head coach Eusebio Di Francesco told his club’s official website that the game remains important.

He said: “Tomorrow’s game is a tough one but it’s crucial for us, because we still have an significant aim that we need to achieve. We really want to make sure we hold onto third spot.”

He added: “I hope I can coach the side in many more matches. It’s a small milestone (to reach 50 games) but, as I always say, I’m not someone to rest on my laurels. I hope the games I coach here in future can be better than the ones that have gone before.”

He continued: “We need to do lots of work and build on what we’ve done. Juventus have won a great deal and not just with Massimiliano Allegri. They have a mentality whereby winning becomes a habit.

“Roma have always been just slightly behind over the past few years. It’s not easy to find the right remedy. We need to work on several areas and strengthen. We’ve made some steps forward. I think Juventus set an example in the way they handle less-important games: with the same approach.”

On his plans for adding to the squad for next season, Di Francesco added: “I’m the coach – I’m not in charge of our transfer dealings. It’s too early to start talking about that – we’ve got a really big game to focus on. Our prime objective is to qualify for the Champions League.

“I’ve not even spoken about it with the club. Of course the coach’s opinion is important, so they know who I’d like, in terms of the playing style and mentality of players.”