Mourinho praises Roma for “fantastic team spirit” in Verona win

Andy Mattioli

Jose Mourinho was particularly happy with his side’s winning display earlier tonight at the Stadio Olimpico. The Portuguese manager even organized a team huddle at full-time, in order to compliment everyone gathered and motivate the players ahead of Thursday’s crucial Europa League match.

After the game, Mourinho gave a lengthy interview to DAZN, demanding more respect for his players from fans and media alike.

“Tonight I wanted to pay my compliments to everyone who played. All of them won tonight. With the exception of Dybala, Darboe and Abraham, they were all present. The boys won with fantastic team spirit tonight,” he said.

“They played very well for the type of game Verona plays. Very well deserved victory, the boys made a huge sacrifice: five or six have of them had played in Austria on Thursday; Karsdorp hadn’t played for months; Spinazzola was back from injury; Bove played had only a handful of times so far; Belotti had been missing for a long time; Solbakken is learning and is not physically up to speed yet; El Shaarawy is playing to the limit of his strength. People don’t give this team the credit and respect it deserves.”

“Belotti had a great performance this time around and deserved to score. As I said, people don’t give this team the credit it deserves. I’m grateful to the lads for what they did tonight.”

“The fans? Sold-out stadium is great but not always. It was great and gave us a huge boost when we played Bodo last year, but this time I kept hearing boos and whistles every time one of the boys misplaced a pass. The people don’t seem to understand. We don’t have the likes of Cafu or Maicon running on the wing. If I were a supporter of this team I’d carry Bove in my arms because he’s more of a fan than they are.”

“When I first arrived here, Bove was close to being dropped to Serie C and today he is a starter for Roma. What is not helping is the constant criticism this team has been receiving non-stop. When we win, it’s because we’re lucky or can only score on set-pieces. Everyone else is great, whereas we’re not good enough. I don’t need to be praised, but the players do.”

“I understand I’m speaking out as a manager, but I have to protect my boys,” he continued.

“My expectations? I’ll say what I think at the end of the season because I have plenty to talk about. I have never given an interview since I arrived, I only speak to the media, before and after the game, because I am obliged to. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think I want to wait until the end.”

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MatchDay 38
26 May 20:45