Monday, October 23, 2017

Montella focused on task at hand

SoccerNews in Serie A 2 Apr 2011

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Roma boss Vincenzo Montella will not let takeover speculation derail his side’s preparation for Sunday’s clash with Juventus.

As American businessman Thomas Di Benedetto prepares to buy out 60 percent of the club, rumours swirl about potential transfers and a possible change of manager.

But Montella said he was not thinking about the future and was firmly concentrating on the match ahead.

“I believe Sunday?s game is much more important and would prefer not to talk about other matters right now,” Montella said.

“The team has been separated from the whole situation, partly because they are used to talk about the ownership over a period of time. I?m pleased to see the squad concentrated on the task at hand.”

“I thank Di Benedetto for the kind words, but for now I am responsible to those who hired me in the first place.”

“I don?t think about my future, because it?s not as if finishing fourth will mean I stay in this job, or I could end up fifth and not be fired. I try to do my best and then we?ll see.”

With European places on the line, both sides are in desperate need of three points, but Montella expects his side to send Juventus back to Turin empty-handed.

“Gigi Del Neri is a great coach and he worked with us for a few months here at Roma. His teams have for years played in the same way and are thoroughly organised for every situation, but at the same time have some weaknesses that we could exploit,” Montella said.

“Juve have left Rome with points for too many years now and we want to change that trend. Roma need a victory to chase fourth spot and Juventus really want the points too in order to qualify for Europe. There is a lot at stake.”

Striker Jeremy Menez has been a peripheral figure since Montella took over from Claudio Ranieri in February, but the Frenchman is a chance to feature at the Stadio Olimpico.

“Of course we expect a lot from Menez and he has a chance of playing, but everyone has to participate in the overall team move,” Montella said.

“Francesco Totti?s enthusiasm has been boosted by going over the 200 Serie A goal mark, so he?s physically and psychologically in great shape.”

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