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Kolarov doesn't drink, doesn't go on social media and busts his ass - Roma want 22 guys like him, says Pallotta

12:26 GMT+3 15/02/2019
Aleksandar Kolarov Roma 2018-19
The Giallorossi owner hailed the Serbia international's attitude and encouraged the rest of the squad to follow his example amid criticism from fans

Roma chairman James Pallotta says he wants ’22 guys like Aleksandar Kolarov’ and has hailed the left-back's work ethic and professionalism.

The Giallorossi are having a disappointing season, sitting in sixth and having been embarrassed by a 7-1 scoreline against Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia

Kolarov has hit out at the club's ultras over their criticism of the team's performances, subsequently turning them against him.

However, Pallotta - while admitting he was not happy with some of the showings his side have produced this campaign - leapt to the defence of the 33-year-old defender.

“There’s no question for me he is just the absolute ultimate professional," Pallotta said to SiriusXM FC.

"Every single day he is the first guy in there, he’s pretty much the last guy to leave.

“He’s just a tough, tough footballer. He doesn’t go on social media, he’s not out drinking, he just plays hard and he trains hard.

“And sometimes he’s going to make a mistake like all of us do. I hope the fans realise that guys like him, you want to have 22 guys like that in your team!

“You just know the guy is going to go out there and bust his ass. He doesn’t complain, and when he is injured he still wants to go out there.”

Pallotta's comments may be a slight dig at former Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan as well, whose reported off-field antics of drinking and smoking, among other things, supposedly led to his sale to Inter last summer.

Despite his praise for Kolarov, the chairman did not hide his frustration with the team's position in the table.

"I’m not [happy], because I feel we should be in second or third when you really look at it. We gave up an awful lot of points this year, and near the end of games.

“That’s been pretty frustrating for me. Going 3-0 up against Atalanta and then tieing it. If I look at it – and even if we just take two-thirds of the points that I think we messed up on – then we would be pretty close to second place with Napoli. So I’m not happy from that point of view at all.

“We have to, the next bunch of games, just do our job. Hopefully, we are healthy and, you know, finish in the top four.