Mourinho embraces the challenge ahead of Roma-Milan

AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho
Andy Mattioli

The Special One addressed the media ahead of Sunday’s big match-up at the Olimpico for Roma-Milan.

On the similarities in ambition and objectives between him and Milan’s coach Stefano Pioli:

“I personally like to play against the best and I think I convey this feeling well to my players. I enjoy playing against teams that play well and are at the top of the standings, with different objectives from us. I like it and in that sense it’s just motivation, no problem.”

“It is true that in two years that I have been in Italy I have never faced Pioli, our teams have never played against each other. Tomorrow I will have the pleasure of meeting him and greeting him before and after the game.”

“The work he is doing may have some similarities with what I have to do here, my feeling is that he obviously has a lot of merit in what he is doing, but it seems to me that we are talking about the work of a club.”

“From the outside it seems to me that behind him there are people like Maldini for example and others with a good and stable structure and a squad that learns and progresses with each transfer window.”

“If you compare the team that Pioli found when he first joined Milan, with the one he has now, you notice a great evolution of the club. Now they are in a very good position, they play in the Champions League and are first or second in the standings.”

On the players excluded from being called-up:

“Are you more interested in who is not called up or who is called up? Obviously the results of the Primavera are not that important to us but I like not to demolish the Primavera and take 3 or 4 of them rather than half. This is why Volpato and Missori were not called up and played yesterday. The ones who are called up are the same as last time out.”

On Mkhitaryan’s recent form:

“The loyal ones are all those who are in the squad. Unfortunately I can only start 11 and 12 on the bench are many. But that’s fine, I can’t call upon them all.”

“I understand what you are saying but Mkhitaryan is doing well. Mkhitaryan is no longer a kid, he played against Napoli and I took him out against Cagliari. I needed depth with El Shaarawy whom I like very much.”

“I won’t tell you if he will play tomorrow. Fuzato for me he is a very loyal player and he has not played even a minute. If he will have to play someday it’s not a problem. Loyal yes, important to us, yes.”

On Spinazzola’s recovery:

“Spina is fine, the process is great. The specialist who operated on him was here for two days to check with our medical department. Everything is fine, there are no set-backs. I prefer not to say when he plays or does not play, I just say that we have positive news and there is nothing negative to say.”

On Roma conceding only 2 goals in recent league games:

“We want to score more and if possible concede less. Looking at the goals conceded, it is a positive average. We played against important teams.”

“It is important to play every game thinking that it is possible to win, and to do so you have to be balanced. It’s a clich√© but to win you have to score and defend well. I think we are improving little by little.”

On whether a win is mandatory tomorrow:

“All time. If is not against Milan, it is against Cagliari, Milan, Venezia. We always want to win. Against Napoli we saw a team that wanted to win until the last minute. We always want to win. It doesn’t change: tomorrow with Milan and later with Venezia.”

“It does not change anything. I understand your perspective. You go to the objective reality of numbers and I can’t say anything. Even after a negative result in Verona or with Lazio or Bodo’s shameful game, people come to the stadium for passion, for blood, genetics, but I also think for a team attitude. And we don’t change this about ourselves. It stays.”

On conceding several goals in the opening minutes to the second half:

“I could also say that we enter well and do not concede a goal at the start of the match. You always find the negative side of the situation. It would be more frustrating for me to concede goals in the first 5 minutes of the game. It can happen, what can I tell you?”

“I compliment you, you always find a negative situation. You are good at it and maybe now I begin to understand why the environment in Rome is difficult: in other clubs you feel more protection and positivity, in Rome it is harder for this too. But that’s okay, it’s fun like that.”

Match Center

MatchDay 37
19 May 20:45