Roma head coach Rudi Garcia says he will stand down if he feels he cannot salvage the club’s season.
A slow start – and a run of seven matches without a win in all competitions – sees Roma sit seven points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter, while a Coppa Italia defeat at the hands of second-tier Spezia on Wednesday heaped more pressure on the under-fire Frenchman.
Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello and Marcelo Bielsa have all been linked with a move to the Stadio Olimpico should Garcia leave but, ahead of the league clash with Genoa on Sunday, Garcia is standing firm.
“I’m not thinking about whether this will be my last match,” he told a news conference. “I’ve got other battles to win. We must win tomorrow.
“I’m still motivated. I’m relaxed and a fighter. We need to show character tomorrow and bring home the three points.
“The failure lies in losing to a Serie B side in the Coppa Italia. We achieved our target in the Champions League [qualifying for the knockout stages]. The title race is still all to play for. We’re only halfway there. We are, however, angry about the … cup.
“While we wait for the Champions League in February, in Serie A we have to do all we can to get back near the top.
“You must win football matches. I’m the leader of the pack and when results aren’t good, I accept my responsibility.
“I still feel I can contribute to this team and I want to achieve our goals.
“It’s not for me to say whether I’m the problem at Roma. If I feel I can’t contribute, I’ll stand down. That’s not the case.”
Discussing his relationship with the club’s hierarchy, Garcia added: “I always talk to the club. I also spoke to president [James] Pallotta after the Coppa Italia defeat.
“We all have to do more and I have to make sure we don’t adopt the wrong approach in games.
“[I have] utter faith in sporting director [Walter] Sabatini. We’re in constant touch. I see more of him than some of my family.”