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    Mourinho: “A good week of training but tomorrow will be tough”

    Jose Mourinho met with the media on Saturday ahead of Roma's game against Fiorentina on Sunday night.

    Read on to find out what the boss had to say...

    You've had six days to train and work with the team. Have you seen improvement in some of your players?

    “It's been a good week because we've been able to work well, with good intensity. We can't do that normally when we're playing lots of games.

    “[Chris] Smalling won't be involved – there's been no progress there. [Marash] Kumbulla is making progress. He's started training with the squad again, although not fully yet. If all goes well, I'm not saying he'll be 100% but perhaps he can help for 10-15 minutes, against Napoli or for our first game in January. Marash is working really well.

    “People like Renato [Sanches] and [Lorenzo] Pellegrini who have suffered injuries recently have worked well this week. Tammy [Abraham] is unavailable.

    “It had been a long time since we were able to train with the whole squad together and work on tactical ideas. It's been a good week.”

    Tomorrow you face quality opponents in Fiorentina. What sort of match are you expecting?

    “They're a quality team with lots of options and a great squad. They beat Parma without many of the players who will start tomorrow. They really are an excellent side, with a clear identity, and they're playing for the same targets we are – the league table tells you that. I'm expecting a very difficult match.”

    You met with the FIGC prosecutor. What do you expect from the sports justice system?

    “I expect justice. It wasn't a problem for me. My life in Rome is my work. I went along of my own accord and I was happy to do so because the FIGC prosecutor, Mr [Giuseppe] Chine, gave me the chance to say what I had to say, which was the truth. I never offended the referee. I never cast doubt on his ability. Never.

    “That expression – which seemed perfectly normal to me and it still does because I use it when I talk about myself regarding work and even in my social life – was taken to mean something different to what I intended it to mean. During the match, the referee showed that he was capable of handling it. And after the match, that's exactly what I said: the referee did a good job.

    “I don't see any problem with that. That's basically what I said to the FIGC prosecutor. I expect justice. That's all.”

    There's the Domenico Berardi part as well, which Sassuolo were very angry about. Did you talk about that too?

    “That's Sassuolo's problem and it's a character problem as well. When they met me, before and after the game, why didn't they say anything to me? Why did they greet me politely, with big smiles, then the day after they tell the press they're not happy with what I said?

    “I see it as a matter of dignity. If I'm not happy with an opponent about something, I find a quiet moment after the game to talk about it. That didn't happen with Sassuolo, which I found surprising.

    “In any case, what I said is something I have the right to say. In fact, more than the right – I have a duty to say it. As someone who's been coaching at the highest level for 20 years, it's my duty to defend football. That was my intention: to defend football. Because there are things that happen on the pitch that shouldn't happen but sadly they do happen very often, week after week.”

    Tiago Pinto came out and strongly defended you before the Sassuolo match. How pleasing was that for you? Do you see it as a positive sign going forward?

    “For me, Tiago Pinto is Roma. When he speaks, Roma speaks. That's how I see it. He doesn't speak on a personal level. In that moment I felt it was the club speaking.

    “I don't expect the club to back me when I make a mistake, because when that happens I don't expect it from anyone. But when I haven't made a mistake, when my words are completely normal and composed, it was nice that the club said, 'We're here.' To use an expression that I can't use anymore, it gave me emotional balance for the game against Sassuolo.”

    Were you asked about your comment that Gianluca Mancini would get booked by Matteo Marcenaro after 10 minutes?

    “I don't think I'm even supposed to talk about what happened yesterday [with the FIGC prosecutor]. I went with Tiago Pinto and the lawyer [Antonio] Conte and we met the FIGC prosecutor Chine. We talked and I'll stop there. I don't feel comfortable saying more.”

    Gianlcuca Aureliano, Fabio Maresca and Antonio Rapuano have been appointed for tomorrow's match. Refereeing expects say they've had some problems with Roma in recent years. Are you relaxed about that?

    “I think as coaches we shouldn't talk about referees before the match. That's a conclusion I came to by myself, and it's a thought I shared with the prosecutor. Before the match, we shouldn't do that. Afterwards, we might be more or less happy and criticise more or less. But beforehand, we should start with the idea that referees want to do a good job and we should leave them in peace, before the match.”

    Regarding your future, I haven't understood what the situation is with the owners, who have shown you support in your battles. Two months on, I'll ask you again: if they offered you a new contract today, would you sign it?

    “It's a hypothetical question because it hasn't happened and I don't like answering hypothetical questions. If, if, if... There's no if.

    “If the question is whether that support was pleasing, then of course the answer is yes. Because I give everything for Roma and even when I make mistakes, if I make a mistake, I like recognition for the fact that I do everything I can to help the club. Of course it's pleasing.

    “As for the same old question about whether or not I've been in contact with the owners, if every time it happens I then come here and tell you lot, I don't think the owners would be happy. But today it's no secret that the boss [Dan Friedkin] and two of his sons are here. We spent time together. We spoke. We have a good relationship.

    “If you ask me whether we spoke about my future with regard to my contract, the answer is no, we didn't.”

    How are Pellegrini and Renato Sanches? Are they available to start? And how important is it to have all these midfield options, given all the head-to-heads you have to play between now and the midway point of the season?

    “We need everyone. As I've said before, when we have a full squad available, with no injuries, and all our players in good shape, we have a strong squad. It's a squad with options that helps me help the team during the game, if I have options on the bench.

    “The fact is that we do options in midfield. That includes [Edoardo] Bove, who's no longer a kid who comes on for 10, 15 minutes, as he did two years ago and last year. He's grown since then. In midfield we have options even without Renato, Lorenzo and with [Leo] Paredes suspended, so it's not a disaster because we can always come up with solutions.

    “Having said that, having all of our midfielders available is important. Tomorrow, for example, we have Paredes, Renato, [Bryan] Cristante, Bove, Pellegrini and [Houssem] Aouar:. We have six players available and that's an excellent number.

    “Renato has improved in the last week, but he hasn't been working at full capacity. He's not quite at full intensity yet.

    “Lorenzo has had a great week and has even done some extra work. With that group of players, we're sorted.”

    “However, we do have lots of important games. In January we have a cup match and then potentially another one, if we win the first. We need all the players because we've obviously had difficulties at the back and we'll continue to have them in the coming weeks. With [Evan] Ndicka going away, it's going to be even more difficult.”