AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti admitted on Saturday that his primary aim for the season is to secure second place rather than wresting the title from Inter Milan's iron-like grasp.
Roma trail Inter by six points with just four games to play and would need their rivals to suffer a dramatic collapse for the Serie A crown to find its way to the capital this season.
More pressing, possibly, is the need to fend off the charge of Juventus, just five points behind in third place, so as to ensure that they qualify directly to next season's Champions League group stage.
“Second place is vital,” said Spalletti before lamenting the loss to injury of talisman Francesco Totti.
“I'm sorry about what's happened to him and particularly at this time when we are playing many matches.
“Francesco is an important part of our team. However, he seems calm and has not lost himself in depression.”
Asked if he was pessimistic about Roma's title chances, Spalletti claimed to be a realist.
“You have to be realistic. When there were four points between us it was difficult and now there's six points and four games left, so it's even more so.
“We have to keep going and trying to claw back points on Inter until it becomes mathematically impossible, all the while keeping an eye on Juve.”
Roma had closed the gap on Inter to just four points but dropped two points at home to lowly Livorno last week while Inter escaped from Torino with an undeserved 1-0 victory.
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