Roma manager Jose Mourinho appeared in his first press conference of the 23/24 season.
Earlier this afternoon, Mourinho spoke to the media to address his team’s pre-season and preview Sunday’s game against Salernitana.
“We have worked really well over these last few weeks,” said the Special One. “We’ve put in 40 days of work. We have had very few problems and we approach this first game without any injuries. We have two important players out due to suspension, but we’re doing well. I want to thank the staff and players.”
“We have improved several aspects of our game over the course of pre-season. Paredes and Renato Sanches will be able to help us, they are quality players.”
“The missing striker? Everyone knows the situation. Coming here to cry is not worth it,” said Mourinho when asked about the missing replacement of Tammy Abraham. “It’s been a long time since Abraham got hurt and we haven’t done anything to make up for it. We know that Pinto and the club are doing everything possible to resolve the situation. I train those who are available and ask the fans to help us tomorrow.”
“Pinto and the club have done an excellent job in securing so many outgoing transfers. I would also like to take credit for helping shape some of the players that left the club this summer,” he added.
“The club have done a great job so far. With the economic and legal limitations we have, we have done a great job.”
“Tomorrow will be difficult. Salernitana have an excellent coach and were able to compete all the way until the end last season. This leads me to say this: I think it’s wrong for players to have suspensions due to yellow cards carry over from one season to the next,” said Mourinho, addressing Dybala and Pellegrini’s suspensions.
“Matic? I think the situation is self-explanatory. The fact he had been talking with Rennes for over a month says it all and there is nothing to add. I’m very happy to have Paredes in his place. I like him a lot.”
“We didn’t expect Mr. Matic’s departure. But the club reacted immediately in a fantastic fashion. We lose a great player in Matic, but we have signed Paredes and Sanches, not the first Joe off the street.”
“Aouar played few games last year and is coming from a difficult season. Paredes has not had a top season and arrives without having taken part in pre-season. Renato Sanches has suffered many injuries over the last year. These are all players I like, but they have to be prepared and helped along.”
“I’m also happy with Llorente and Ndicka. We knew Diego matched our level. Ndicka has to learn how to play with us,” he added.
“Ibanez? I find it hurtful when I read some of the comments that were said about him. He made mistakes in games that people never forget, but he was the fastest player on our team, excellent on set pieces, and the most reliable defender when it came to pressing the opponent high up the pitch.”
“It’s not easy for me, I can’t say I’m super happy. The league starts tomorrow whereas the transfer window closes in two weeks. It’s hard, but I’m not angry and I don’t fight with anyone. I try to be positive in here and I’m positive because the players need it.”
“I was promised a striker and I trust the club and Pinto,” he added. “We all know we’re late. I know it, Pinto knows it, the players know it. If the problem with the striker hasn’t been resolved yet it’s because the situation is more complicated than expected. I must focus on playing.”
“Pellegrini and Aouar can play together despite many people like to question this. Obviously it also depends on the opponent. We have a lot of solutions in the midfield and many players who can cover different positions. Cristante can play as a 6 or 8, Pellegrini and Aouar as an 8 or 10, and Sanches as an 8. There’s plenty to choose from.”
“That’s the way it goes here. We lose one player, but others have joined. And the family continues to exist. We keep going together, welcoming new players. Our group is fantastic, those who leave cry. I am still in contact with Diawara, Oliveira, Felix and Veretout. The family moves on.”