Jose Mourinho held a media conference in Trigoria as part of the UEFA Media Day on Thursday, six days prior to the Europa League final against Sevilla.
This is what the Giallorossi boss had to say...
Nicola Zalewski has said it's thanks to you that Roma are playing in another final. Do you feel you're the main architect behind the achievements of the last two years?
“Just as the players thank me, so I thank them. We're in it together. We've always been in it together. Nicola might be getting a bit emotional. Two years ago he was playing for the U19s, then he played in a final, then at the World Cup for Poland, and now another final. He's grown a lot.”
You've prepared for lots of finals as a coach. We're now six days away from the game in Budapest. What's the hardest aspect of managing the build-up? And what is the easiest?
“The hardest part is our game on Saturday. I have to leave out players who are carrying niggles. We can't run any risks. That's the hardest part. Going with a team full of kids is a big risk and it's not good to put the kids in that sort of situation either.
“Fiorentina have 25 players all at the same level and I'm sure they'll play the ones who didn't play yesterday. They'll be fresh and motivated. Ideally we wouldn't have to play at all on Saturday and be able to concentrate on preparing for the final.
“The easiest part is the fact we really want to play this final. When we come in here on Sunday morning it will be much easier to have everyone motivated, focused and happy. That's the easy part.”
There's a lot of talk about your future and you can sense a bit of pessimism in the city. Could winning this trophy have an impact on your future at Roma?
“My only focus is on the final. A little bit on preparing for Fiorentina. Just a little. But otherwise my only focus in on the final. My future and everything else is secondary when you have a final to play. There's no reason to be pessimistic and there's no reason to be optimistic. There's no reason for anything.
“We really want to play this final. We've done so much to get here and we've really struggled. Now we want to play it. It will be easy to prepare for because we want to play. It's not even about qualifying for the Champions League if we win. I don't want to know anything about the Champions League or Serie A positions. We want to play the final. We've played 14 games to get here.
“We went to play against Ludogorets and came back at 7 am. We went to Helsinki, where it was freezing cold. We went to Seville to play Betis knowing we could be knocked out if we lost. We went to Salzburg, who had come from the Champions League. We went to play Real Sociedad, who have had an amazing season in Spain. We've lost one player after another. We've played players out of position. We threw in a youngster like [Edoardo] Bove and asked him to start both legs of the semi-final. We played Leverkusen, another team who dropped down from the Champions League.
“Now we're here. We're here and we want to play. We want Romanisti to be like us: incredibly happy to be here and to play this final. I hope and I trust that the Sevilla and Roma fans will be able to enjoy their day in Budapest. And we want to play. When [Anthony] Taylor blows the opening whistle, we want to play and then we'll see.”
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