While disappointed that Roma return to the capital with just one point in the bag, Rudi Garcia was nonetheless pleased with his side’s general approach in their opening-day draw at Hellas Verona.
Speaking to the media after today’s match at the Stadio Bentegodi, the Giallorossi boss bemoaned a lack of zip in possession and too many touches in attack but said he was happy with debut boys Edin Džeko and Mohamed Salah and is already looking forward to next week’s clash with Juventus at the Olimpico.
Is Džeko’s playing style suited to Roma’s game? Perhaps the other players aren’t so used to playing with a traditional center forward?
“Edin was excellent in the first half and had that chance with a header at the end. We needed to speed things up in possession. We didn’t move the ball around quickly enough or stretch Verona as much as we’d have liked. They’re a tough proposition at the Bentegodi. We put in an ok performance but it wasn’t enough to get us the three points. Our general approach was good though. We’re on the right path.”
How do you think your forwards performed tonight?
“We could have done better up front but perhaps we took too many touches. Džeko and Salah have only just joined us, yet they’ve managed to do well so far and I’m sure they’ll do even better. I need all my players over the course of the season because we have lots matches with Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia commitments to juggle. The overall attitude of the squad is very important and the guys got that part right tonight.”
Are you worried by the fact that you still don’t have a left-back on your roster?
“I’m not worried. We’re weighing up various options together and it would help if we could bring someone in this week but if we can’t then Torosidis is fine. Apart from the goal when he pushed up too much, he played his usual solid game today. Lucas Digne is not the only name we’re looking at. There are three or four options and we’ll make sure we get the right one.”
Are you curious to see how Juve have changed since last season?
“It will be interesting it see that when we play them next weekend. They’ve lost some top-quality players in Pirlo, Tevez and Vidal but they’ve also signed some fantastic talents. They, like us, have work to do if they want to improve and exploit their squad’s full potential.”