Daniele De Rossi speaks ahead of Hellas Verona showdown

Andy Mattioli

Roma interim head coach Daniele De Rossi held his first press conference as the club’s technician.

The legendary captain addressed the media on the eve of Saturday’s fixture with Hellas Verona.

“Totti? He sent me a message wishing me good luck as soon as he heard the news. I hope to see him soon,” said De Rossi of his former teammate.

“Our objectives? I would be happy if at the end of the season we were among the top 4 in the table. It is not an easy goal but it’s possible,” he added. “I have to try to start from scratch to understand what’s not working as of right now.”

“My decision to come back? You simply cannot turn down Roma. Ever. It’s a bit like what happened to Pirlo a few years ago. Then one also analyzes the values ​​of the team before committing to a project, the only reason why I would have said no is if I was dealing with a mediocre team and I don’t think that’s the case here.”

“My 6-month contract? Dan and Ryan [Friedkin] were very clear about the length of the contract. I accepted right away, I said that I would sign for the amount that they would choose. It’s a six-month contract, I simply asked them to treat me like a coach and not a club legend. I want to be treated fairly and I will fight to the death to remain here at the end of the season. I want to earn my place on the pitch.”

“I fell in love with the idea of coaching thanks to Spalletti and Luis Enrique. However, this is a team built to play with a three-man defence. We are considering a change of formation, and I won’t rule out the possibility of changing the line-up during the season.”

“The fans?  think the fans have also helped the team collect more points in recent years. Nobody wants to take away how much the fans loved Mourinho, I hope they will love me too. And I think that if there is a fanbase that can love both, it is the Roma fans.”

“Mourinho? I texted him in recent days. He was one of the first people to reach out to me when I got the job with SPAL.”

“Over recent years, Roma have played some very good games and some bad ones, too. But to see some of these quality players from up close in training is very impressive. I was particularly impressed with Pisilli whom I wasn’t familiar with.”

“The emotions behind my debut cannot get in the way of us winning tomorrow. I expect the fans to be critical and we have to handle it like men. We must keep our focus, both off and on the pitch, including myself and the players on the bench as well as the fans.”

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MatchDay 37
19 May 20:45