Jose Mourinho was not pleased with fans, who tonight’s match at the Stadio Olimpico, booing Roma’s own players despite a winning effort against Hellas Verona.
The Portuguese technician addressed the situation in his post-match press conference where he demanded respect for his team.
“When Cafu lost a ball, did you have a reason not to be happy? Cafu was the best in the world in his position. Him or Maicon. When some very experienced players, like De Rossi, lose the ball, it’s normal that fans don’t like it. When Bove loses a ball in the 80th minute and people boo it’s a double problem.”
“And when I say Bove I also mean Karsdorp who hasn’t played for two months, Cristante who runs 12km per game… Anyone who loses the ball but then fights to recover it deserves respect.”
“We are a team of serious people who give everything every time we step on the pitch. We are a team that loses, we lost against Cremonese and we wanted to win, just like we did at Lecce. More defeats, draws, victories will eventually come our way, but we must be respected.”
“Do people know the sacrifices one makes to play? People don’t know. There is a whole side of the stadium that supports us every time, and then there are a few areas that I feel are passive, and finally there is another sector which feels like it’s populated by opposing fans.”
“I apologize because it’s not my job, but I want the fans to criticize me if they have to criticize somebody. I want this for my players. Footballers make mistakes because they have limits. Zalewski didn’t play too well on the right wing because half the time he doesn’t know where he’s supposed to play. But that’s why this team deserves credit and respect.”
“My own words? Perhaps you are right and I was wrong for how I behaved after the match against Sassuolo,” he continued.
“Who was the last Roma coach to have so many kids on his roster? When Roma won with a giant like Capello there were Batistuta, Totti, Montella and Delvecchio, in recent years Salah and Dzeko. A player on loan is a tremendous difficulty for me and for them as well because they have little chance of developing. Solbakken couldn’t join us in Portugal, and only came on board two days before the first game of the New Year. Guys deserve total respect. If sometimes due to my communication style I seem to open the door to criticism. It’s my responsibility, and I apologize to the lads.”