Manolas: “Our best performance? At Napoli.”


Roma defender Kostas Manolas was interviewed by Roma’s official website and spoke about the best and some of the worst moments of the Giallorossi’s season thus far:

The best team performance…
Definitely the win over Napoli. It was such an important away trip – the hardest one. We deserved to win. We played well defensively and took all our chances. We had prepared well for the game and needed to play football. We put everything into practice as planned and the win came. That was the first time we’d managed to win at San Paolo since I’ve been at the club.

My best performance…
Against Lazio. We kept a clean sheet and that means I did a good job. We were playing against tough opposition but our opponents weren’t able to produce anything and we were never threatened. We stayed tight and switched on. I was marking Ciro Immobile, who’s a good player, but with the help of my team-mates I was able to keep him quiet.

Best display from a team-mate…
That’s not an easy one. I’d say Radja Nainggolan against Lazio, although I remember Federico Fazio had a great game against Napoli too. However, Radja’s performance in the derby had it all – he fought, ran with the ball and scored. It was the perfect performance.

Hardest opponent faced so far…
Gonzalo Higuain, unfortunately. He scored a great goal with his left foot in our defeat at Juventus Stadium. We’ve managed to keep a number of great strikers quiet this season but he breached our line with an incredible effort. Last season we managed to shackle him in both games against Napoli, whereas this season we didn’t.

Roma’s player of the season so far…
Wojciech Szczesny. He makes so many saves, take that stop at Genoa for instance. He’s a big character, a professional guy who trains well and he’s great with the ball at his feet. Playing in front of him really gives you confidence.

Biggest disappointment…
Cagliari. When you lead 2-0 on the road, you can’t draw 2-2. We’re a great team and you shouldn’t ever draw matches like those.

Best feeling…
The Lazio match. Everything was going their way. Their fans were back at the ground and they were looking to leapfrog us. Winning a derby is the best feeling because it’s not just for us but the supporters too.

Best goal Roma have scored…
Radja’s against AC Milan. It was even better from my where I was stood at the back. I headed the ball clear, he brought it down under pressure from an opponent, ran towards the opposition goal and let fly with a superb left-footed curling strike.

Targets for the second half of the season…
It won’t be easy to improve on what we’ve done – we had a great first half to the campaign – but we have to try. 41 points is a big haul but we need to try and take more against the smaller sides. That will be crucial in our title chase.