Roma coach Luciano Spalletti believes his players felt liberated by Saturday’s much-needed 3-1 win over Frosinone in Serie A.
Goals from debutant Stephan El Shaarawy, Radja Nainggolan and Miralem Pjanic ensured Roma’s first win in five matches and only their second since November’s derby victory against Lazio.
Spalletti was appointed in mid-January, prior to a draw with Verona and a narrow 1-0 defeat to Juventus, following a difficult first half to the season under Rudi Garcia.
The 56-year-old enjoyed a successful four-year spell at the Stadio Olimpico before taking charge of Zenit and he believes his current squad are looking up again.
“What most sticks in your mind is the way the lads celebrated and hugged each other at the end,” he told reporters.
“It was like a liberation. That shows you our mental state. When it comes to playing a match sometimes the lads find it hard to reproduce things that they’re perfectly capable of doing.”
While Roma ensured a welcome return to winning ways, striker Edin Dzeko remains without a goal since November while Spalletti has received criticism for his use of veteran Francesco Totti.
Former Roma coach Zdenek Zeman was critical of Spalletti for benching Totti of late but the Roma boss added: “Francesco played a good half hour.
“When he drops deep he’s second to none in escaping from opponents’ clutches, but you have to remember his age and the injury problems he’s had recently.”
On Dzeko’s struggles, the Roma boss continued: “We need to give him more service and better service but he needs to help himself too by showing better movement in certain situations.
“For example, dropping off the shoulder of the centre-back more often to cause problems for the opposition’s backline.
“I took him off because I wanted to play Francesco Totti and also because we have games close together this week and a number of players – including Edin – are carrying knocks.”
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