Mourinho: ‘Too easy to say Roma are perfect’

Jose Mourinho keeps asking Roma for more after six wins out of six, warning Hellas Verona will be a stern test. ‘It’d be too easy to say: we were perfect. That’s not the direction I want to go in.’

It kicks off on Sunday at the Stadio Bentegodi at 17.00 UK time (16.00 GMT).

Although they have won all six games this season between Serie A and the Europa Conference League, including Thursday’s 5-1 comeback victory over CSKA Sofia, Mou is eager to tamp down excessive enthusiasm.

“It’d be too easy to say: we were perfect. That’s not the direction I want to go in,” said the coach in his press conference.

“We must analyse in every game what went well and where the problems were. We can certainly do better in the quality of our football and the defensive movements. The truth is, despite the result, CSKA Sofia had moments when they were in control.”

Matias Vina and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have minor injuries, but could still be available at least for the bench.

Mourinho was asked why Gonzalo Villar isn’t getting as much playing time this season as he did last term.

“Paulo Fonseca had a different vision of football compared to me, so he had different options. There’s no problem with Villar, it’s just that Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout are doing really well. Anyway, we can rotate the squad because we trust everyone.”

Roma face Hellas Verona tomorrow, with new coach Igor Tudor making his debut after Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked just three games into the season.

He’s not the only one, as Cagliari also fired Leonardo Semplici to bring in Walter Mazzarri.

“I cannot comment on other clubs, I can only say as a colleague that it’s disappointing to see coaches fired so early. As for what’s behind it, that is not my business. I’m glad Mazzarri is back, we faced off in both Italy and England, while Tudor was looking for an opportunity.

“Verona have zero points in three games, but could’ve easily picked up results against Inter and Bologna. We could see Tudor go back to the approach that Ivan Juric had at Verona last season and we have prepared for that eventuality.”

Mourinho confirms 19-year-old youth team player Filippo Tripi will be in the squad tomorrow and could even play for Roma, but Davide Santon won’t be welcomed back.

“Tripi worked with us in pre-season, he knows our way of playing and can take any of the defensive roles. He lacks experience, but has heart and intelligence. We can play with three or four at the back, I cannot say we won’t, even though we haven’t done it yet. It is important to press high.”

Borja Mayoral is on loan from Real Madrid and was expecting more regular playing time, but has fallen down the pecking order behind Tammy Abraham and Eldor Shomurodov.

“Unfortunately, FIFA won’t allow me to field 12 players at a time,” was Mourinho’s response.

“Mayoral is a fantastic professional, he has quality, intelligence and keeps his cool in front of goal, but I like Eldor and Tammy too. He wants more, his time will come.”