Roma boss Jose Mourinho was asked about the team’s status ahead of tonight’s match with Empoli.
Minutes before kick-off at Stadio Olimpico, Mourinho said to DAZN, “We’re still not close to our potential. If we’re allowed to play all together, without any absences, for even a 4-5 game stretch, then we have great potential.”
“Renato Sanches? We all have love for him, all those who have known him since he had no physical problems. In recent years, unfortunately, even a very strong team like Portugal is still waiting for him, missing his qualities.”
“He has high potential. In recent years he has suffered due to injuries. He must grow progressively, today it is perhaps premature to play him as a starter. But we learned that Aouar couldn’t play at all so Renato gets the start. Let’s hope it goes well. The team needs him and he needs the team. The team must do well to help Renato.”
“Smalling’s absence? We only have four central defenders, without him there are three left. If necessary, Cristante can also play, but today we also have many absences in midfield and he is needed there. Llorente will play in the center and it will be Ndicka’s first game with us, as he is learning to play with us. It’s not an exam or a test, it’s an opportunity to grow.”