El Shaarawy discusses Mourinho’s winning mentality, Abraham’s blues and more

Andy Mattioli

Roma attacker Stephan El Shaarawy gave a lengthy insight into the team dynamics within Roma’s dressing room.

The Italian winger spoke to Sportmediaset about Nicolo Zaniolo and Tammy Abraham’s struggles so far this season, the impact Jose Mourinho has had on the squad since being appointed Roma boss, and the upcoming Coppa Italia match against Genoa.

I made my Serie A debut with Genoa, I have very special memories of this club. We are all fans in the family and I spent my younger years in the academy there. It will be special night for me,” he said, referring to the Giallorossi’s midweek fixture.

“Coppa Italia? It’s certainly an objective for us. It’s a competition that shouldn’t be underestimated. We must face it with great seriousness and show desire to get to the end of it,” he added.

On Roma’s frequent ups and downs in the first half of the season, El Shaarawy remarked, “I think that perhaps we’ve lacked something in terms of finishing, but I think that the comeback on Sunday is the demonstration of how much this team always believes in getting a result until the final whistle.”

“We’re happy that Tammy got back on the score sheet on Sunday. We hope it can be his turning point to continue scoring goals. I think in his case it could be like last year. He started off slowly and then he unlocked himself and we all saw what he was capable of doing.”

“Tammy showed how important he is also from a defensive standpoint. He saved us in the last moment against Bologna.”

“Zaniolo? Nicolò still has a lot of room for improvement. He is a key player for us, especially for the national team. He comes from two years of injuries and he must certainly get back to being his former self in front of goal. He can become much stronger. In training he always puts great effort and continuity.”

On Mourinho, El Shaarawy concluded, “In terms of mentality, he is a great coach and communicator. We talk all the time, he talks to everyone the same and it’s definitely his greatest strength. His trophy cabinet speaks for him. He’s a winner, we have to follow him in every way, because he can help us take that extra leap.”

“We want to achieve more with Mourinho. We see it by just how he prepares his workouts, the intensity he puts in them, the desire he has to achieve his goals. Just like he did last year in the Conference League. This makes us understand how much he cares about Roma and about doing well here. We have never talked about other teams or other national teams for him. He’s with us, he’s here to stay.”

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