Jose Mourinho said he realises why is it “tough” to work at Roma, but the Portuguese boss is having “fun” in the Italian capital.
Mourinho returned to Serie A as Roma head coach at the start of the season after he was sacked by Tottenham last term.
The Giallorossi have not won the Scudetto since 2001, while not since 2008 have they claimed silverware.
Mourinho has found himself under some pressure in the wake of Roma’s shock 6-1 humbling at Bodo-Glimt in the Europa Conference League last week, with the former treble-winning Inter coach scathing of his players in the aftermath.
As Roma prepare to welcome high-flying Milan to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, Mourinho was in a combative mood during his pre-game news conference.
“You always find the negative side of any situation,” Mourinho told reporters when asked about Roma conceding goals after the restart. “It would be more frustrating for me to concede a goal in the first five minutes of the match. Honestly, I am impressed by your ability to pick the negatives out of everything.
“I am starting to understand why Roma is a difficult place to work. In other clubs, you feel more protection and positivity with the fans at home. Maybe in Rome it’s more difficult for that too, but that’s okay, it’s still fun this way.”
“I think the fans come to watch in part because of the attitude we show on the pitch.”
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) October 30, 2021
Mourinho’s Roma are fourth in Serie A, nine points behind Milan and Napoli through 10 rounds of the season.
After losing his first match against Milan in Serie A in 2008, Mourinho has won each of his last three top-flight matches against the Rossoneri, with eight goals scored and only one conceded.
In each of the previous nine occasions – in the era of three points per win – in which Roma have won at least six of the first 10 Serie A games, they have then finished within the top three positions in the table (currently six wins, one draw and three defeats).
“I like to play against the best and I think I convey well to the players this feeling of pleasure when playing against teams that are playing well, are higher than us in the standings and that have different goals than ours,” Mourinho said.
“From this point of view, there are no problems, only motivations. When I was in Italy, Pioli did not coach in Serie A. Our teams have never played against. I will have the pleasure of meeting him and greeting him before and after the game. His work maybe has some similarities to what I have to do here.
“He deserves a lot of credit for what he is doing, but from the outside, it seems to me that we’re talking about a club effort: behind him there are people like [Paolo] Maldini, just to give an example, and there is a good, stable structure, a squad that improves in every transfer window.
“If you compare the squad he first had and the one he has now – a very good evolution of the club, which is in a good position now, plays in the Champions League and is first or second in the standings. They’re doing very well.”
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