Mourinho: ‘I liked the mentality, Pellegrini must sign immediately’

Roma coach Jose Mourinho was happy with another win over Trabzonspor in the Conference League, revealed Nicolò Zaniolo refused to take time off and hopes Lorenzo Pellegrini signs a new deal soon.

The new coach was very happy to see the team qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Europa Conference League with a 5-1 win on aggregate over the Turkish side.

“I liked the mentality,” Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia after the match. “Even though at some point the team had some difficulties, because the opponent was good.

“The people understood that there’s a spirit, a way of thinking about the play and the club, and I liked this.

“It’s a shame that a team like Trabzonspor won’t even play in the Conference. This is a Europa League team and it’s a shame for them, because they have quality.

“At the beginning of the second half, if Rui Patricio doesn’t make that save, the game changes.

“We must have the humility to understand that this result is above all a reflection of the last 15 minutes and not 90, because it’s a heavy result for them.

“It’s very important to know how to play in difficulty too, it’s easy when you dominate, even from an emotional point of view. When you are in difficulty, you must resist. Having a goalkeeper who didn’t come to visit the city is important. That save allowed us to resist the difficulty, then we have the quality to know how to come out on the counterattack even if the reality of the match is different.”

Zaniolo scored his first goal in 400 days but Mourinho revealed he wanted to rest the Italy international.

“I wanted to give him two days of rest, he said no,” Mourinho continued. “I asked him if he needed some days of vacation, obviously he won’t play on Sunday, and it wouldn’t have been a problem for me to give him two days off.

“He told me that he wanted to stay with the team and that means something.”

Tammy Abraham also gave a good reaction on Thursday and Mourinho expects him to grow further.

“From a physical point of view he’s not yet at the top,” Mourinho said. “Everyone knows his qualities and his mentality, the last three minutes on the pitch, already in difficulty, he goes to defend, ends a defensive action as a full-back.

“I was sorry to not let Borja [Mayoral] play because he deserves it too. [Eldor] Shomurodov also gave a lot to the team.”

Mourinho then added a comment on captain Pellegrini and the negotiation of the renewal.

“He has to sign tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, he’s important for us and therefore his signature will arrive soon.”