Roma president James Pallotta has apologised to the club’s fans following their shock elimination from the Coppa Italia at the hands of Spezia.
The Serie B side held Rudi Garcia’s men to a 0-0 draw across 120 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday before triumphing 4-2 in the penalty shootout, with Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko missing for the hosts.
Only last week, Pallotta had criticised the media for “beating up” his players over a poor recent run which has seen them win just one of their last eight matches in all competitions.
But the 57-year-old was more contrite in his assessment of Roma’s latest slip-up, stating via the club’s official Twitter account after the match: “On behalf of AS Roma & myself, I want to apologise to the fans for today’s game. Congratulations to Spezia.”
Veteran goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis says the whole squad must accept the blame and has challenged them to give more to arrest their slump.
“We cannot shirk our responsibility,” he told the club’s official website. “It seemed clear to me that everyone could have done something more in terms of self-belief, dynamism, freshness and desire to step up to the plate, offering that little bit extra to help the team get results.
“Since we came back from the international break, we haven’t looked dangerous in games any more. The pitch was a major factor in Bologna, the referee could have managed the penalty situation better against Torino, Atalanta deserved to beat us and we were never in the game against Barcelona.
“Then we’ve picked up three draws in the last three matches – without scoring a single goal – so it’s obvious we have to do something more. I’m not limiting myself to the forwards, however; everybody needs to give a bit extra.”