Interviews

Mourinho previews Roma’s first Europa League match with Sheriff Tiraspol

Andy Mattioli
I

Roma boss Jose Mourinho spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow night’s Europa League clash with Sheriff Tiraspol.

Upon landing in Moldova, Mourinho attended his pre-match press conference.

“I don’t want to say who plays tomorrow. Karsdorp has to play because Kristensen is out of our UEFA list and because without Smalling our fourth defender is Celik, and I need a defender on the bench.”

“Mancini, Llorente and Ndicka will play and I need a defender on the bench which is Celik. If you ask me the question to know who plays, I won’t answer the question.”

“It’s a different season than last year, a different competition than the one we completed in Budapest. I will continue to say until the last day of my career and even after that we didn’t lose the final in Budapest. We didn’t lose the final in Budapest.”

“Now let’s start from scratch. Today the goal is to qualify for the next stage. Last year we started with a defeat which then created difficulties for us in qualifying and we played in the playoffs against a Champions League team, which is not easy for a team like ours. Winning the group would be important.”

“Svilar? I answer because you came all the way from Rome to here and it’s not easy. Svilar plays, he plays because Rui played a great game against Empoli, we won because he didn’t concede a goal. If there had been any criticism towards Rui, he would have played 100%.”

“Sheriff? We have respect for all opponents. We lost 6-1 two years ago, a match that should have been won, we lost last year against Ludogorets and we know that it is never easy to play in Europe, especially away.”

“We play against the opponent, against their fans, against a special motivation. Their coach said the goal is to qualify. We also play against history, Sheriff did incredible things in the Champions League a few years ago. It’s not an easy match, we’re playing against a strong team. I have already mentioned some who willplay, they are regular players on the team. We took some young players with us, including Mannini and D’Alessio who had never been with us, but they won’t be the ones to start the match. We will play seriously.”

“My suspension is clearly a problem, because I can’t communicate with the team. We tried to reduce the problem by working well together in training. Today’s training was very positive. I cannot communicate with the team during the match so we’ll see where Sheriff allow me to sit during the game. I believe in my team and my staff and this will lead us to success. I can’t speak to the team but from my seat I will be able to celebrate the goals.”

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