Coach Rudi Garcia spoke in his media conference ahead of Palermo about the need to be more consistent during games and focused from the first whistle if the team are to achieve their lofty ambitions.
Garcia also reaffirmed his dream of winning trophies at Roma, stressing he in no way regrets staying in the capital. As for the mood around the camp following the Champions League reverse to BATE Borisov, the coach revealed he is solely concentrating on Palermo and work on the training ground.
Here’s his news conference in full.
How do you deal with a loss like the one in Borisov?
“We made the most of the fact we had all the players together the day after the match to say what we thought of the game. There were some positive aspects and others less, which gave us real problems in terms of the scoreline in the first half. In the second period, we showed what we’re made of and that we can do great things, but we need to find greater consistency over 90 minutes. We watched the game back on video to analyze what we didn’t do so well at times during the match. Either way, the most important match is always the next one and, after a loss, everyone, the coach and players have great desire to go on a winning run in the league, which began against Carpi. That’s how we’ll climb the table. It will be tough at Palermo but we’re going there for the three points, just as we always do.”
This season seems to be following the script of the previous one. Do you regret staying at Roma?
“Not at all, I’m happy here. My aim is to win trophies here at Roma because the club deserve to. They do everything they can, from the president right through to the people working at Trigoria, who always work as hard as they can to create the ideal conditions for the team. The players also give 100%, albeit in fits and starts at the moment, but we can definitely achieve great things once we harness this squad’s potential. We’ll see over the course of the season and it’s still too soon to assess things. We move forward with our minds solely on Palermo, nothing else.”
Pallotta has given you a vote of confidence through the press. Have you spoken to him?
“I speak to the president on a regular basis. Ever since I joined the club, the management have always supported me in how they’ve acted.”
The president also said that Roma have some brilliant players and it’s down to the coach to decide who to pick. What do you make of those comments?
“That’s normal, I’m the coach. This is the squad we wanted and I work hard every day to try and get the best out of the players we already had at the club and those that have joined this season. We need to keep doing so tactically and our play has to become second nature. We have to press on in our aim of producing quality football, that’s what brings results. We’ve got great ambitions this season and we want to become more consistent moving forward and make the most of the quality within our squad.”
To what extent do you feel responsible for not shaping a winning mentality in this team?
“The fact we’ve finished second twice shows we have a great, consistent mentality. My job is to work on the training ground day in, day out, to make concrete calls during matches, both defensively and offensively and be able to play different formations. We saw that in the second half in Borisov. We have to start with this ambition from the first whistle, however, and always stay focused throughout the 90 minutes. That’s the only way we’ll become more consistent in terms of performance levels and results.”
The team looked a little sluggish at times against BATE. Are you happy with your side’s fitness levels?
“We’re a team, the players and staff. We work well together and all give 100%. We saw that in Belarus. You can’t play with that intensity in the second half if you’re not fit.”
It’s all doom and gloom about the place at the moment. Is that a little over the top?
“What matters is not only the game at Palermo but also what results you’re getting. Everything’s rosy when you’re winning but when you’re not, even if you’re playing well, things aren’t as good. I know how the game works. I have to be motivated and a fighter. My dream is still to win trophies at Roma, that’s not changed. I have to work as hard as I can on the training ground for these guys. They’re fantastic, a great group of players, and they must understand that the hard work we put in every day will allow us to get the best out of the squad, even when the going gets tough. That’s all that matters, plus I don’t have the time nor energy to waste on off-the-pitch matters.”
You’ve claimed Roma are still on course for their targets. Are they the same as they were at the start of the campaign?
“I’ll say it again: We’re on course for all our targets. We want to fight all the way in the title race, in the knowledge that our main aim is to once again qualify for the Champions League. We’ve made life hard for ourselves with our defeat in Borisov. We know that if we want to make it through, we have to produce a big result in Leverkusen. It’s all still possible.”
What’s the latest from the treatment room?
“Totti and Keita are suffering from muscle injuries. They’re having normal treatment and the two-week international break will be vital to get them fit and available for selection. Džeko and Rüdiger have had knee problems and aren’t in the squad but they’re getting there and have both started running again.”