The Brazilian, who remains locked in talks over a new Roma contract, struck the winner yesterday and declared: "I'm in a wonderful moment. The end of 2007 wasn't the best, but I am now far happier. I am now playing well, as are the team, and I hope this can continue."

On catching Serie A leaders Inter Milan, Mancini was bullish: "They have a tough game tomorrow (today) against Udinese and psychologically they will be worried by our victory. The important thing is that Roma are still in this championship race."

Asked about his testy relationship with coach Luciano Spalletti, Mancini was adamant: "Between him and I there's always been a good relationship, I believe he is one of the greatest coaches in Europe. When you have a great coach on the bench it is more challenging for a player."