AS Roma have a high mountain to climb tonight as they wish to redeem themselves at the Stadio Olympico Rome. After the 4-1 defeat at the Camp Nou in the first leg in the UCL, Eusebi Di Francesco knows the challenge that awaits him and his men.
The former Sassuolo coach knows what is team needs to improve on to secure a comeback against the Catalans. His side created a lot of chances in the first leg but failed to convert the chances.
"Why can't there be a miracle?" he said to the press in Monday's press conference. "We have the obligation to give our best. We have to try to do something important, giving our best to defend our colours. "This game is up there with the best, then we will think about the derby."
A comeback is needed if Roma are to progress to the semi-finals, but Di Francesco has called upon his players to believe.
"It's okay that it's difficult, but we have to believe," the ex-Sassuolo coach insisted. "It's obvious that we have to try, even if we face a player who said he wasn't in his best form and then scored a hat-trick the other day. "We have to try, like we did in the first leg, to close down their passing routes."
Di Francesco assured the media that if his side are to perform the improbable, they will need the backing of their supporters too.
"There is always a huge responsibility because we always give our best for the fans, even more tomorrow, because we have to redeem ourselves after the 4-1 in the first leg," he explained. "The fans should be our extra weapon, we want them to drive us."
He also believes that lessons can be learnt from the first leg, in which the coach believes his staff have pinpointed where they went wrong.
"Our attitude was good in the first leg, but we lacked precision," said Di Francesco. "This team has never lost and it's an army, but Barcelona wasn't built in a day: the mentality has developed over years and it's their strength."
That mentality is key to what Di Francesco is trying to achieve in the long-term at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
"The ability and mentality have to be built primarily in Trigoria [Roma's training ground]," he insisted. "I listen to people talking about a winning mentality, but here we have won very little and it's in the past. "This comes with time, giving consistency to our work."
Roma will need to score at least three goals without reply if they are to progress to the next round of the Champions League.
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