Roma coach Vincenzo Montella is refusing to be distracted by off-field matters ahead of his side’s Coppa Italia semi-final with Inter Milan.
Roma became the first Italian club to be owned by foreigners on Saturday, when a consortium led American businessman Thomas Di Benedetto acquired a 67 percent share of the club for 70.3 million euros.
After losing 2-1 to Palermo on Saturday – the side’s second successive loss at home – Roma are hanging on to a Europa League spot by just a single point from Juventus, and Montella believes the furore surrounding the takeover had weighed on his players’ minds.
Having all but conceded the team’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League, Montella is targeting a strong showing in Tuesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final first-leg with Inter.
“The Coppa Italia, both for Roma and Inter, is almost the last realisable objective available to us this season,” Montella said.
“Tomorrow evening two wounded teams will face each other and for this season they will need big motivation. The team that has the greater personality and temperament will win.”
“The difference will be made by personality, not by individual acts.”
Montella, in charge in an interim capacity since replacing Claudio Ranieri in February, said he was looking forward to locking horns with Inter coach Leonardo on Tuesday in Roma’s last chance for silverware this season.
“I hold him in great esteem, he is a really smart guy and he’s doing a great job at Inter Milan, if we consider what he did at AC Milan last season too, so I’m happy to meet him tomorrow,” Montella said.
Montella said he was unfazed by criticism of Roma’s recent poor results and said he would stick by his coaching philosophies.
“Mine is a simple and clear idea and I think I’ve already explained that before: I’m doing and I’ll do everything I believe is right to improve the players’ performances,” he said.
“If I act like this it’s because I believe it right. I hear what the people and the supporters say too, so if I wanted the people and media on my side it would be very easy for me.”
“My main task here, since I’ve arrived and up to the end of the season, is to make them give their best, considering their characteristics and how they behave.”
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