Roma boss José Mourinho admitted his side is struggling with fatigue after they managed to barely escape with a victory over bottom of the table Salernitana.
The Giallorossi found themselves losing 1-0 with only ten minutes remaining before Carles Perez and Chris Smalling scored two goals in five minutes to secure a win.
The victory extends their three month long unbeaten run in Serie A and gives them a much needed confidence boost ahead of Thursday’s Conference League showdown against Bodø/Glimt.
“Clearly we were tired tonight, it’s not easy playing on Thursday evening then on Sunday. I’m sure (Atalanta manager) Gasperini agrees,” he told DAZN.
“We rotated a few players in the starting formation before we brought on others in the second half and they gave us great energy.”
“Ultimately, though, I think we deserved to win because were the team playing for the victory, even if we might not have played well.”
He added, “They gave us problems, but ultimately we were the ones playing until the very last moments. The bench tonight did really well. Us managers this a lot and sometime the decisions we have to make aren’t easy.”
“In the end, though, we have to make choices. I’m so happy for Carles Perez because he’s a great lad and works like very few do. However, sometimes there isn’t space for him and his qualities due to technical and tactical reasons.”
“But in an extreme situation like tonight I put him on in an ultra-offensive position in a team that had nothing to lose. His goal gave us the strength to push for another and ultimately helped us win the match.”
Mourinho was also asked about the atmosphere tonight at the Stadio Olimpico, which was packed with an attendance exceeding 64,000.
“Let me add: our players need to feel more responsibility towards our supporters, they’re fantastic,” commented the Portuguese technician.
“We’re not playing for the Scudetto yet the atmosphere was still like that? It’s incredible. Knowing the stadium will be full on Thursday for a decisive match is fantastic.”
“I even have to applaud Salernitana’s away supporters, they love and passion they displayed was great.”