Di Francesco unperturbed by 'tough time' at Roma

Eusebio Di Francesco admits he and Roma are going through "a tough time" but his sole focus is to guide the Giallorossi through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Roma were dealt a hugely damaging 3-0 derby defeat by rivals Lazio on Saturday, putting Di Francesco under pressure ahead of a European second leg against Porto in midweek.

This has been pinpointed as a key game for the head coach, yet he is keen for Roma to take centre stage as they seek to defend a 2-1 lead in Portugal, setting aside his personal fortunes for the time being.

"I would like to draw attention not to Di Francesco, but to Roma," he told a news conference.

"My thoughts do not go to myself, but to my boys, for Roma to play a great game. It's not Di Francesco's game, but the players'. The important thing is that Roma go through.

"I'm always thinking of the next game. After a positive run, we're having a tough time. The derby has damaged morale, but we must think about this game. This is a bit of a game of life or death."

With Kostas Manolas injured, Roma's back-line struggled against Lazio, with Federico Fazio particularly exposed.

But Di Francesco does not want to see individuals picked out and criticised at a key stage of the season, happy to instead shoulder the blame himself.

He responded: "If we talk about individuals who made a mistake, we have to talk about the collective that approached the game very badly - including, first of all, the coach."

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