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The Viola went down 2-0 to Roma on Saturday in what was a disappointing start to the new Serie A season but the coach believes he can take positives from his side's performance

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella defended his side following their 2-0 Serie A defeat to Roma on Saturday.

Radja Nainggolan gave Roma a first-half lead before Gervinho added a second in stoppage time.

Montella’s side were heavily criticised for their showing but the Viola coach said the performance was not as bad as pundits were suggesting.

"I think criticism is exaggerated," he said.

"We had a bad first half which was a little nervous by our standards and I have to work out why, but the first half-hour was very tactical with few chances for either side.

"Fiorentina were excellent in the second half and created numerous scoring opportunities, unfortunately none of them went in.

"After the break we showed that we had better stamina and consistency. In the first half Roma were more reactive and got to the ball first, but despite that I didn't see that many chances from them.”

Australian Midfielder Josh Brillante was a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up but lasted just 35 minutes before substituted after a misplaced pass inside his own half resulted in Roma’s opener.

But the Fiorentina boss said Brillante had earned his call-up to the starting XI.

"I chose him because he's done a great deal, while [Alberto] Aquilani really struggled in training this week, which was unusual," Montella told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was a tough decision, I never expected him to play 90 minutes, but he was an extra weapon in the armoury."