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Under-fire Garcia not feeling the pressure at Roma

Rudi Garcia is confident his position as Roma coach is safe, insisting he does not need public backing from the board.

The Frenchman came under pressure following to a run of seven matches without a win in all competitions – which included elimination from the Coppa Italia at the hands of Serie B Spezia – between November and December, with Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello and Marcelo Bielsa linked as potential replacements.

Garcia suggested he would step down if he did not feel he could contribute further, but a 2-0 win over Genoa in their final outing of 2015 alleviated some of the pressure going into the mid-season break.

Ahead of their return to Serie A action against Chievo on Wednesday, the former Lille boss was optimistic about his job security and Roma’s ability to continue challenging at the top of the table.

“Do I feel under pressure? Not at all. I often speak with the directors and I don’t need them to support me publicly. I’m just thinking about my work and the next game,” Garcia said.

“I want Roma to do well. That’s why I’m here and that’s what motivates me in my work.

“Everyone is trying to improve, myself included. I’ve not changed my beliefs, but I’m growing along with the squad.

“I just think about the next game. The goal is to win, to do it together and to stay in the race for the Champions League and the Scudetto.”

Garcia revealed that Kevin Strootman – yet to make an appearance this season – is slowly edging towards fitness following knee surgery, while Francesco Totti could return from a thigh issue in the coming weeks.

“Strootman is in good shape physically and mentally. He’s not with the group yet, but he’s working hard,” Garcia added.

“Totti’s not at 100 per cent yet and won’t be in the squad because I don’t want to risk him, but he is nearing a return.”

Tue 5 Jan, 2016
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