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Di Francesco under fire as Roma owner 'disgusted' by Bologna defeat

By AFP
media Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco under pressure after embarrasing defeat to Bologna. AFP

Roma's American owner James Pallotta said he was "disgusted" after the Serie A giants plunged further into crisis with a 2-0 defeat in Bologna on Sunday, piling the pressure on under-fire coach Eusebio Di Francesco.

Roma - last year's third-placed team in Serie A -- have slumped to 14th position after five games with just five points after Bologna scored their first goals of the season, and achieved their first win.

"I am disgusted," the club's billionaire chairman Pallotta told RomaPress.US after the club have now gone six games in all competitions without a win.

The side from the capital won their opening Serie A game against Torino, but were held by Atalanta and Chievo, and lost to AC Milan and now Bologna.

Di Francesco was at a loss to explain what was lacking after last year's Champions League semi-finalists also fell 3-0 to holders Real Madrid in Spain midweek.

"If I had an explanation for this, I'd give it to you," he said.

Roma host promoted Frosinone on Wednesday looking for a boost before Saturday's derby against bitter city rivals Lazio, who are fifth after a 4-1 win over Genoa on Sunday.

"I'll make changes based on what I've seen, when things have simmered down I'll find the right solutions," promised Di Francesco.

"One thing is for sure – we're lacking defensive solidity, that's where these errors come from."

The club has been struggling to rebuild after losing goalkeeper Alisson to Liverpool during the summer with midfielders Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman also exiting the Italian capital.

"When you've got matches in quick succession you can't always pick the same players.

"Last year I'd change six players in each game and we'd all be pulling in the same direction, winning lots of balls high up the pitch, things that you struggle to keep on doing when you don’t have that drive inside you."

They were at a loss to convert their possession into goals at the Dall'Ara Stadium with Federico Mattiello curling in Bologna's first after 36 minutes with Paraguayan Federuci Santander adding the second after 59 minutes.

"If you have 74 percent possession and lose 2-0, it means something is missing in your attitude," continued the Roma coach.

"It's about desire, timing and fire. You can't teach that, I've been a player and I know what it means to be out there."

Captain Daniele De Rossi said the entire team had been shocked by the setback in Bologna.

"We thought it would be a very different game, perhaps the first goal took our legs out from under us," said De Rossi.

"Something isn't working right now and we need to find the reasons amongst ourselves, facing up to it square in the eye.

"This is the same coach that led us to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

"I don't see why we should put the blame all on him. To beat Bologna and Chievo you don't need to have (Pep) Guardiola in the dugout. As players, we must take responsibility.

"It does not seem to me the time to be blaming the coach."

 
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