Jose Mourinho say’s Roma ‘can’t afford to have injuries this season but insists his team will leave everything on the pitch against Bayer Leverkusen. The Giallorossi boss was previewing their upcoming Europa League semi-final against the Bundesliga side and spoke of the challenges Roma have faced this season, highlighted the string of injuries the squad has suffered in recent months, saying they are ‘victims’ of the ‘good’ his players have done during the campaign:
“We will put everything we have in store on the pitch in terms of quality and desire. We’ll try to get a result that will allow us to advance in the second leg and get to the final,” said Mourinho.
“Either we’ll win and get to the final or we’ll lose by leaving everything on the pitch,” he added.
“The team, without problems, has enough quality to do what they were doing, stay second, third, fourth in the league and qualify for the Europa League.”
“Every time you ask me about Roma’s goals, even in moments without injuries, suspensions and fatigue, I always said the same thing: it depends. When we have problems we don’t have depth. When we don’t have problems and we’re all on top, playing one game a week, we have quality.”
“Roma cannot afford to have injuries, there is, for example, a problem because Solbakken was excluded from the Europa League list because of FFP. The difference is that Inter played with Lukaku and Correa against us and today Dzeko will play with Lautaro.”
“When we were there with everyone available, Paulo scoring, Smalling playing incredible, I said I didn’t know how long it would last. I was speaking from experience. I was not criticizing anyone.”
“It’s not a criticism, it’s reality. If we are out of European competitions in December, today we are second or third in the league, because there is no fatigue and probably little to no injuries.”
“If we had been eighth in the league, I would have put everything on the Europa League and today we would be in a better situation. We are victims of the good that the players have done this season. We can win or lose, go to the final or drop out. Someone will say that if we don’t go to the final it’s not a good season, but for me it’s been a fantastic campaign.”
“Smalling? He’s fine to go the bench tomorrow. I don’t expect to see him for the next 2-3 games. Maybe something unexpected will happen. If we go to the final, he’ll go with us.”
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