Mourinho’s press conference ahead of Hellas Verona

Jose Mourinho coach of AS Roma before the Serie A football match between AS Roma

The Special One spoke to the media ahead of Roma’s Sunday clash at the Bentegodi vs Hellas Verona.

On his critical comments following win vs CSKA Sofia:

“It would be too easy to say: we were perfect. I don’t want to go in this direction. Each game we analyze what has gone well and what were the main problems.”

“From this point of view, we can do better. I didn’t expect such a result, but we can do better on the quality of the game and on the defensive side of the ball. There were moments where CSKA were in control.”

On whether he is satisfied with Ibanez playing as a right-back and the situation around Villar:

“I do not understand. The same happened against Sassuolo. We haven’t talked about Torino yet. You seem to be looking for other things that don’t fit with a pre-match conference. I thought I’d talk about the next game.”

“Vina and Mkhitaryan have two small problems and with the quality of the people in the medical department, I expect positive things. I may have them available.”

“For Villar I don’t understand. Why the question? Why was he a starter last year and this year he doesn’t? Paulo Fonseca had a different vision of football than mine, he had several options. The next coach will have several options. A player with me is a starter, with the next he won’t be. No problem with Villar. The problem is that Cristante and Veretout are playing very well. But that’s good for the team.”

“Talking about starters or non-starters makes no sense. As you have seen, we have changed a lot against CSKA because we trust everyone. Ibanez is not a full-back, of course. He can cover the position in an emergency, with a defensive mindset. He will never be a proper full back.”

On what kind of Verona team he expects to encounter following the sacking of Eusebio Di Francesco and whether coaches are granted too little time by club owners:

“It’s not my business to talk about other teams and what decisions are made.”

“For me from afar it is that I feel sorry for two colleagues who were fired so soon (Semplici and Di Francesco). I can’t say much else. I’m happy that Mazzarri is back, we played together in Italy, in England. Tudor, if he was looking for an opportunity to return, he succeeded.”

On the importance of his staff for the success of the team:

“The truth is that there is no one of the coaching staff I had around me 20 years ago when I first started out. For 20 years, however, we have been the same.”

“Lalin is the one who has been with me for the longest time, everyone else has changed. Sometimes their decision, sometimes my decision.”

“Here I took two athletic trainers, it depends on the situation. I consider that we have a very very good staff. I arrived with 4 and now we are 14-16.”

“The people who were here are quality people, open to learning. Doctors, analysts are part of my staff. Now we are all on board. One day it will become someone else’s staff. I’m interested in building a base. We work a lot as a staff, we celebrate together. When the bad times come we will be even more united as a result of it.”

“I like to work with people who think, analyze, concentrate 24 hours a day. We also talk at home at 11pm. I like people with passion.”

On whether he has reconsidered reintegrating Santon and working with a three-man defense:

“I thought of Tripi, who will be called up. If we have any problems. Tripi did the pre-season with us, he learned our way of thinking. He can play in all defensive positions. He is inexperienced, but he has a heart and an intelligence.”

“I don’t think about the reintegration of any player. We can play 3 or 4 at the back, we haven’t done it yet. I can’t say we won’t. There are many teams that do it in Serie A. It is possible that it will happen. We can do it.”

On the aggressive attitude that he demands from his attackers:

“It depends, if it is a plan where we want to press high it is important to do it on the defenders. If the strategy is a lower line, no.”

“Against Sassuolo and the game with Salernitana we tried to press high, it’s important. Tomorrow is a game with more challenges. A new coach that we have no reference to be able to think what kind of game he has in mind. We can see the past of Tudor. He will try to repeat the principles of his work. It will play out differently. There are so many unanswered questions. It is an extra difficulty. We cannot be sure what to expect.”

On whether Borja Mayoral will ever get his shot at starting a game:

“FIFA does not allow 12 players to play. Only 11 players can play. He is a good player, good boy. He’s only played 16 minutes so far but for the way he works he is a fantastic professional.”

“He will be important to us. I like him more today than two months ago. Tammy is fine, Eldor too. We can play with two. The last game we played Abraham and Shomurodov together so it is possible to play with two. I like Mayoral very much, with quality, intelligence. He keeps his cool in front of goal. But I also like Eldor and Tammy. He wants more, but his time will come. He will be useful for us.”