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Roma coach Ranieri admits massive derby gamble hooking Totti, De Rossi

Roma coach Claudio Ranieri admits he took a massive risk hooking Francesco Totti and Daniele de Rossi at halftime of yesterday's derby win.

Roma were trailing 1-0 at half-time when the Coach decided to replace the two hometown heroes, but it worked as they went on to defeat Lazio 2-1.

"Evidently we felt very anxious and the derby is the derby. In the second half we did far better. Of course the turning point was the penalty save," he said of Julio Sergio's parry from Sergio Floccari.

"I didn't explain the substitutions to them. They were booked and felt this event too keenly, it doesn't let them play the way they can. So I preferred to make a change and go back to the old system.

"It was a tactical decision as well, but I had to use a bit of everything to make this choice. We were not 100 per cent with Daniele and Francesco in those positions, so I preferred to remove them."

It was extraordinarily brave in the circumstances and native Roman Ranieri knows it.

"If we'd lost after those decisions, I would've been crucified!

"I have made many difficult decisions in my career. When I was at Valencia, I took off Romario and I still regret it a little, but it was the right thing for the team. I always have to do the best for the team.

"They are our captain and our future captain, so they may be disappointed, but at the final whistle they were happier than anyone."

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Tribal Football Staff

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