It was hard to do better tonight with the options available but could you perhaps have won the game with a bit more focus?
“Often your focus is directly correlated to your mental and physical condition. When you're tired, you lose concentration and physical coordination. It's not easy. We had players out there who were really struggling with fatigue and yet they gave everything. Players like Lorenzo [Pellegrini], [Gianluca] Mancini and Bryan [Cristante] playing at their absolute limit and playing with the pride that is part of this team's DNA.
“We have lots of problems. Players who are struggling. Players who are playing despite not being ready to play at this level. It's hard for us. Our bench options were virtually non-existent.
“We knew it would difficult but the lads gave everything out there. The result is a fair reflection of the game. If I say Roma deserved to win, it sounds like the Roma coach talking. If I say that Monza deserved to win, I don't think it's true. Maybe the result is right. But it's tough playing with the worst referee I've seen in all my career. And I've seen plenty of poor referees.
“Normally when people talk about referees, it's because the referee had a direct impact on the result. That's no coincidence. I don't think the ref had a direct impact on the result today but it was difficult to play with this referee.
“Technically he's awful and on a personal level he lacks empathy. He never establishes a rapport with anyone. He dished out a red card to a player who slipped because he was tired, in the 96th minute when the match was dead.
“Then we have our limits as a club. We don't wield the same power as other clubs who can say, 'We don't want this or that referee.' I stopped doing my job 20 or 30 minutes from the end because I knew he'd send me off, as he always does. It's tough. Very tough. I think that's an area where Roma need to grow. Other clubs say 'We don't want this referee' but Roma don't have that ability, or that DNA. I wanted to be at pitchside on Saturday with the few players we have available against a super team like Inter, so I couldn't get a red. I really wanted to, but I decided not to because I want to be with my players on Saturday.”
Is that why you went into the dressing room early?
“Of course. I didn't even want to watch.
”How do you explain so many muscle injuries?
“Easy. When you have a squad with 30 players on the same level, you should never get muscle injuries. You make a change in the 60th minute, a change in the 70th minute. [Edin] Dzeko and Lautaro [Martinez] play one game and [Joaquin] Correa and [Romelu] Lukaku play the next. That's not us.
“There's a team that did terribly in Europe and went out straight away – there are teams like that and they play one game a week. That's not us. There are teams who didn't qualify for Europe. That's not us. We're the only team that doesn't have the squad to be where we are. And yet we're in the semi-final of a European competition. We played an extra play-off round because we came second in our group and we had two extra games against Salzburg. We're challenging for the top spots in Serie A. We're doing something we don't have the potential for, and it adds up.
“Look at how many games [Stephan] El Shaarawy played three years ago, two years ago and this year. Look at [Chris] Smalling: how many games did he play in his last few years at Manchester United, how many under Paulo Fonseca at Roma and how many this year? It adds up. Fatigue has a limit. That's why I'm with them till the very last minute of this season because these players deserve to have me with them till the last minute, saying the same things over and again – that I'm incredibly proud to work with these lads.”