The first ever winter World Cup out in Qatar has caused a number of difficulties for domestic European sides given the forced pause that was needed in the fixture schedule to allow the tournament to take place this year, and AS Roma and manager Jose Mourinho are not the only side having to try and reinvent the wheel as proper football is soon set for a return.
Whether or not the mid season break for the World Cup causes unexpected problems in the second half of the campaign remains to be seen, but most clubs are now in a period of having a second mini pre season to get non international players back on track and the self anointed Special One has recently been speaking about the ‘unprecedented’ situation facing him in given the Serie A break and as domestic football returns, fans who like a flutter should discover bet99 referral code.
Roma are of course having a training camp out in Portugal to get back up to speed, and three friendlies are planned during their spell out there, and Mourinho is clear about what he wants to now see in those matches, admitting that he has been pleased with the efforts of the players since they returned to full training following their own unusual break.
“I’m really happy with things. The players were keep to get down to work, and come back from the break full of motivation and focus. That’s a huge plus. It’s never easy to come back to action, especially to hit the ground running in the way that we do and stick to our philosophy of applying intensity to our approach, as well as a high level of focus. I’m delighted with how the players have responded in the last three days.”
With the World Cup now at the final stage, it will not be too long at all before domestic football returns and having missed out on a successive World Cup, Italian fans will want nothing more than local club action back on their calendar and that will happen on January 4 in the top flight clash against Bologna on home soil.
With Cadiz, local side Casa Pia and Dutch team RKC as warm up games, Mourinho continued.
“There were so many teams over there, so there were many options available to us. That being said, it’s not easy to find the right opponents. The idea we had was to face teams who were in better shape than us. Cadiz haven’t had a break, they’ve been playing games and training throughout this period, facing big teams like Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. They are in Southern Spain on the way to Portugal, you can see in their games they have been playing at full throttle. The Portuguese team are fifth in the league, but what’s more significant is that they were playing competitively only two days ago.”
Added the Special One, “While the league in Portugal took a break for the World Cup, the Portuguese League Cup continued and Casa Pia were involved in the group stage with three other teams. Games came thick and fast for them, so they’ve got an edge over us in terms of their competitive level right now.”‘
“While the league in Portugal took a break for the World Cup, the Portuguese League Cup continued and Casa Pia were involved in the group stage with three other teams. Games came thick and fast for them, so they’ve got an edge over us in terms of their competitive level right now.”
“The Dutch side we are playing are back in league action earlier than we are, so that’s why we picked those opponents. We want the players to get some game time. After three days of training, in our first game back I’ll avoid giving players more than 45 or 60 minutes of action. Unfortunately, we don’t have 22 players available, so some of them will have to play more. What’s more important than getting a result, and obviously these games don’t count anyway, is to play, train well and recapture the intensity level. I think the players are in the right mindset to train well.”
Fans will be hoping the preparations work, especially as there is some talk of Mourinho being in line for the Portuguese job.