Roma caretaker Vincenzo Montella believes Saturday’s match at Udinese will prove decisive in the race for Champions League qualification.
Udinese occupy fourth place in Serie A, the last spot on the league table that offers a route into the European Cup.
Roma, six points behind with seven matches to go, must defeat Udinese at the Stadio Friuli to have a realistic chance of snatching fourth.
“Not many matches are left to play, unfortunately the gap hasn’t changed from the last match,” Montella said.
“So if we really want to reach the fourth place – and we really want it – it will definitely be a decisive game.”
“My ideas are clear, (but) the match can change, things can change during the match so ? my aim is to get the team ready for any option. I have various options at my disposal.”
Montella defended his recent team selections – specifically his use of club stalwart Francesco Totti – and accused the media of attempting to undermine the manager’s position at the club
“I also know that it goes like that in Rome, if a player plays, the one on the bench is surely better and this is thanks to you too,” he said.
“But let me say, first you said Totti shouldn’t play as a second forward, since my arrival he has been playing as a first forward and did very well and now you are saying it would be better to make him play a bit back.”
Montella – promoted from the youth team after Claudio Ranieri resigned in February – dismissed talk about whether he would be seeking to remain with Roma beyond the end of the season.
“I could make any decision, it’s premature now, I’m not thinking about it,” he said.
“It even makes me laugh. I would have to take the team in Champions League and then leave it to someone else? So not much to talk now, I still haven’t thought about my future, I have to think at the present now.”
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