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Jose Mourinho applauds Pellegrini and Belotti’s sacrifice

Andy Mattioli

Roma manager Jose Mourinho was proud of his team’s effort following last night’s result in San Sebastian. In particular, the Portuguese technician praised the determination of Lorenzo Pellegrini and Andrea Belotti to start for the team despite their recent injuries had put the presence in doubt for the night.

“Congratulations to my players – they deserve all the credit. This season’s Europa League is a tough one – we’ve knocked out two top sides in RB Salzburg and Real Sociedad so far. We’ve now made it to the quarter-finals and many top sides have reached this stage. I’d like to thank the many fans who came here from Rome and experienced the rollercoaster of emotions with us.”

“They deserve the praise, all of them do. We’re aware that it’s not been an easy ride – Nemanja Matic had fitness issues today and was unable to play, which complicated things for us. Then there’s Gini Wijnaldum who hadn’t kicked a ball for six months and then was suddenly forced to play two full games in the space of three days. These are issues which we face but I’m grateful to the guys for overcoming them. We head back to Rome tired but happy and proud of what we’ve done.”

“That’s the sacrifice and courage I was referring to. Belotti underwent surgery on his hand a few days ago while Pellegrini had thirty stiches in his head. This group of lads can’t be faulted from this point of view. That’s why I stick with them through thick and thin. We’re a tight group. We’re not the best team in the world but our team spirit is fantastic.”

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