We wouldn’t park the bus like Mourinho would do against Barcelona – Di Francesco

We wouldn’t park the bus like Mourinho would do against Barcelona – Di Francesco

Eusebio Di Francesco, Roma

Eusebio Di Francesco

AS Roma Manager, Eusebio Di Francesco says he wouldn’t adopt Mourinho’s ultra-defensive approach in their quarter-final clash with Barcelona in the Champions League next week as he doesn’t have any belief in such tactics.

Barcelona is definitely going to be viewed as the favourite going into the encounter but with Roma topping a group that consisted of Atletico Madrid and Chelsea and eliminating Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16, they are assuredly a team to watch out for.

When Di Francesco was quizzed if he would rather opt for the approach Mourinho successfully implemented to win the title for Inter Milan in 2010, eliminating the Catalan giant 3-2 on aggregate on the way to the final, he responded by saying “it’s unlikely”.

“I don’t think I’ve got this tactical attitude to face Barcelona in that way,” he told Sky Sports Italia. “I think we must not lose our own identity and not sit back much. My idea is not to play a game in which we just wait for them, trying to stay in their half as much as we can.

“We’ve got to play this game with great respect for our opponents, but without any fear, that is something we need to keep at a distance.”

Even as he admitted that it is going to be a difficult task to stop a Barca side with Lionel Messi, he insists that his side must make the encounter worth it.

“The fact we’ve never got this far in previous years means we’ve achieved something important, and the chance to go even further gives us great satisfaction,” Di Francesco said. “What I say to my lads and the whole club environment is that we must not settle for what we’ve got.

“In any case, we’re not only focusing on stopping [Lionel] Messi, who I feel is the best player in the world but stopping the whole of this Barcelona team. This is the most important thing. Man-marking doesn’t exist, in my opinion, although we are going to have to pay him particular attention.”