ROME (Reuters) - Eusebio Di Francesco promised to bring his attacking philosophy to AS Roma as he was officially presented as their new coach on Wednesday.
The 47-year-old is the eighth coach to occupy the hot seat in the last nine seasons and said he would not be overawed by the club’s reputation as a tough taskmaster.
Roma have been desperately trying to end Juventus’s dominance of Serie A but have so far been unsuccessful, finishing second to the Turin side three times in the last four seasons.
Juve have won Serie A for the last six seasons and have won the Coppa Italia as well in the last three.
Di Francesco was previously coach of Sassuolo, leading them out of Serie B and establishing them in the top flight during two stints which lasted a total of five years.
He was sacked in January 2014, but was reappointed only six weeks later.
“Obviously coaching at a smaller club is different to coaching at a big club and you might change tactics for that reason,” Di Francesco told reporters.
“But even when I was at Sassuolo I never set out to play defensive football against anyone. We won’t change our way of playing just because the stakes are higher. We’ll play attacking football and try to take the game to our opponents.”
He was not prepared to promise the Serie A title, however.
“We’re not going to come out and start making bold statements,” he said. “We just need to get our heads down and focus on working hard – that’s what will get us results. I know what the fans would like, and what we’d all like.”
Roma’s last major title was the Coppa Italia in 2008 and, since then, Claudio Ranieri, Vincenzo Montella, Luis Enrique, Zdenek Zeman, Aurelio Andreazzoli, Rudi Garcia and Luciano Spalletti have all tried and failed to add to the trophy cabinet.
“There are lots of problems that I‘m not even thinking about,” said Di Francesco.
”I know there will be easier times and tougher times...
“The atmosphere in Rome may not be the easiest but I‘m calm and looking forward to getting stuck into this fantastic experience.”
“I’m aware that things move quickly in football. I just want to perform well and focus on football and on working hard.”
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis