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Mourinho: leaving Roma would not be my choice

For the first time, Jose Mourinho expressed his desire to ‘continue at Roma,’ emphasizing that if he were to leave, it would ‘never be my own choice.’

In a crucial battle for fourth place, Roma faced numerous absentees, including Romelu Lukaku, Paulo Dybala, Nicola Zalewski, Chris Smalling, and Houssem Aouar. The team, already strained from Thursday’s Europa League commitments against Sheriff Tiraspol, appeared sluggish and found themselves 2-0 down due to Nikola Moro’s well-executed team move and a Rasmus Kristensen own goal.

The most contentious moment of the match occurred when Mourinho brought Renato Sanches on as a halftime substitute but then promptly substituted him off just 18 minutes later.

“I want to publicly apologise to Renato, because what I felt that I had to do was very harsh, but it is harsher even on a coach. I think in 3-4 times in my career I have done this and I apologise,” Mourinho told DAZN.

We did have huge difficulties on a physical level.

“Without Paulo, there is no quality in this squad. And Without Romelu, there is no physicality in this squad. Without either of them, I knew it would be tough for us.

“I could tell obviously the players wanted to do better, but if we had no tactical problems – when they scored the first goal, it was a very balanced match – we did have huge difficulties on a physical level. Bologna have players with intensity, engine and legs, whereas we do not have those characteristics.

“As an example, Kristiansen has limitations technically, but he has physicality. After that, the game became more complicated.

“We had our chances to get a goal for 1-1 or 2-1, we didn’t convert them, and it became difficult.”

Mourinho appeared to be in a mood to dispense with his usual bravado and media gamesmanship, opting for a more straightforward approach in post-match interviews.

“Gianluca Mancini is really struggling a lot. He is playing with this lumbago, he plays because he wants to help and the team needs him. Other players have their limitations in technical or physical terms. If you compare them to the engine of players like Moro, Ferguson and Ndoye, it’s tough for ours.

“Of course the team is struggling physically.”

Mourinho pinpoints Roma’s recent problems

The Special One then spilled the beans on his contract talks with the Friedkin family, as his contract will expire at the end of this season.

“I will tell you something I have not yet said, because I did not want to say it. I want to continue at Roma. And I want to continue here. If I continue at Roma, we need to really think about what we can do with the FFP limitations.

“Perhaps it is better to work with young players and develop for the future rather than with some players who have nothing more to develop. I want to continue and we perhaps ought to think about it in a different way.

I want to publicly apologise to Renato, because what I felt that I had to do was very harsh, but it is harsher even on a coach.

“I know the dimensions of this team, when everyone is available, we have sufficient quality to fight it out. We didn’t finish fourth last season because we reached a European Final and were too stretched out. Without fundamental players, obviously it is difficult.”

Mourinho was then asked about if Roma feels the same way that he does after recent results.

“We have not talked about it. You are the first person I have said this to. When the fans see their team play the way we did today, there is not much to love. How many kilometres did they travel to see this team, to cheer us on for 92 minutes?

“They are special and it would be difficult to split from these fans. If I was to separate from them, it would never be my own choice. Never.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.


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