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Baldini calls for derby redemption

Franco Baldini has urged Roma to redeem themselves against Lazio after falling to a 2-0 defeat against Palermo on Saturday.

Goals from Josip Ilicic and Fabrizio Miccoli gave the relegation-threatened Sicilians an invaluable win at the expense of Roma, who slip three points behind Lazio in sixth.

Sporting director Baldini, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, was clearly unhappy with the result but stressed the upcoming Rome derby was an ideal opportunity to right the wrongs of the loss.

“It was below par in terms of both our play and the result,” he said.

“We need to redeem ourselves in the derby. We went for the wrong approach, and then we didn’t take the scoring opportunities we created.

“I’m sorry for the fans. I wanted to give them a victory for Easter. But after a period in which we made good progress playing good football, we didn’t manage either of those things (against Palermo). This is a heavy setback for us. It hurts and must be immediately cancelled out.

“Next week we have to redeem ourselves against Lazio in what is an important game in the most important part of the season.”

Baldini, though scathing about the quality of Roma’s performance, was keen not to place too much blame on the shoulders of coach Aurelio Andreazzoli, who replaced Zdenek Zeman in February on a deal that runs until the end of the season.

“Our approach was worse than Palermo’s, no doubt,” he said.

“With the aggression they showed, they deserved to win. If we review the goals, they were both well executed. When we started showing the same desire as our opponents, it was too late to retrieve the result.

“Aurelio has enthusiasm and skill in his profession, and everyone respects him. We were hit by a nasty blow from Palermo but until yesterday things were going well.”

Sun 31 March, 2013
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