Jose Mourinho explains Renato Sanches substitution in Bologna loss

BOLOGNA, ITALY - DECEMBER 17: Jose Mourinho, Head Coach of AS Roma, looks on prior to the Serie A TIM match between Bologna FC and AS Roma at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on December 17, 2023 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Andy Mattioli

Roma manager Jose Mourinho was specifically asked about his unusual substitution of Renato Sanches in tonight’s loss to Bologna.

The Portuguese midfielder came on at half-time, with Roma already trailing 1-0 to Thiago Motta’s side, only to be replaced less than 20 minutes later.

In his post-match presser, Mourinho explained, “With Renato we live in a situation of hope, we always think that space, certain responsibilities, adrenaline are the ideal way to help him make the leap. He has emotional scars, he has many fears due to past injuries.”

“He works at low intensity, on everything we do. He improves in volume and in workload but never in intensity. In the last match against Sheriff he had given us 60 minutes of hope, and today I thought about inserting him because the team could have benefited from his quality. But then I realized I had made a mistake, because he wasn’t ready to make this leap in such an intense setting.”

“I’m sorry… The last time I did this to a player before Renato was Matic, and I’m terribly sorry about this but today I couldn’t leave the team with a player who had become frustrated. I had to make this decision.”

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26 May 20:45