Mourinho motivates team ahead of Europa League return leg

Andy Mattioli

Roma manager Jose Mourinho motivated his team ahead of the Europa League return leg with RB Salzburg on Thursday night.

The Special One addressed his team’s limitations and effort following their win over Hellas Verona.

“We worked really well during the international break,” Mourinho told reporters at full-time.

“The team had more quality once we came back in January. Players like Mancini, Cristante and Ibanez, they have all improved. Chris [Smalling] isn’t too young, but there are players who are clearly growing in quality.”

“The kids are growing too. Usually the teams that have the most media and social pressure to do great things are teams that don’t need to make their players grow. I’ve always had pressure to do important things, but I was working with top players, individuals of a very high level and experience.”

“In the meantime, these guys are still growing, we’ve been together for a year and a half. Bove is someone completely different from the Bove of a year and a half ago. When I arrived he was on his way to Serie C. Solbakken had never trained on real grass before.”

“Despite not getting the credit they deserve, the boys persevere and we go on. On Thursday there’s another crucial match, against a team that went to a SPA resort during the weekend, and only three of their starters played with Tirol.”

“On Thursday we go again. If we win it’s great, if we lose we go home and we can sleep peacefully, even in the moment of defeat these players can feel at peace because they’re giving everything they can.”

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