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Mourinho: Nothing easy about this game

Here's what Jose Mourinho had to say during Wednesday's press conference to preview Roma's Europa Conference League meeting with Zorya Luhansk.

Thursday's game in Ukraine gets underway at 18:45 CEST.

What sort of an influence could such a long trip for your players have on tomorrow's game?

"I played against Zorya years ago, in December: you can imagine that conditions were a little bit different on that occasion. This time they are almost ideal for playing. I still haven't had a chance to see the stadium and the pitch but everything is fine - the temperature is perfect for playing."

What are you expecting from Zorya tomorrow?

"We've analysed what is possible to analyse. We've watched their play-off games in the Europa League, and then in the Conference League, their first group game against Bodo/Glimt and then their first few games in the Ukrainian league - for example the one against Dynamo Kiev.

"We don't know if they will change things around tomorrow, but they have always set up in a very functional 4-4-2; they are a well-organised side that can make things difficult for their opponent. But obviously we want to win."

What are your targets in this competition?

"The game itself is always the motivation. Of course, if you are asking me if would rather win the Champions League or the Conference League, I would have to be honest and say the Champions League. But we are in the Conference League and so we have to try and win that. But we are a long, long way from worrying about that and right now the target is to win tomorrow. The first objective is to qualify from the group as soon as possible and try to win [the group] as well."

Do you think Roma are favourites for this competition?

"This idea about favourites in European competition these days is a bit complicated. Right now, in every country and within every team there is the potential, the hard work and a level of organisation that means there aren't the great differences between clubs that there were years ago.

"I've already played here in Ukraine before with Inter Milan, with Chelsea and with Manchester United. Roma will be the fourth team I've brought here, and I don't remember an easy game so far. With Inter we won in the last minute, with Chelsea we drew 0-0, and with Manchester United we won 1-0. Tomorrow's game won't be easy.

"Zorya are very well-organised, they play in a very structured 4-4-2 and they all know exactly what their roles are within that. We will have to go into the game very focused, because there is nothing straightforward about this game."

Will you change your line-up to give members of your second team a chance?

"To change a few things is one thing, to talk about a 'second team' is another. For us the concept of a 'second team' doesn't exist, and in saying that I will change a lot of things. Obviously we need to give a few players a rest and give an opportunity to a few others who haven't had much of a go so far. But we have come here with a strong group and the aim is to win the game."

 
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