Jose Mourinho believes Roma need to improve but continuing in the Europa League ‘is a matter of pride’ after their 3-1 win over Ludogrets. The Giallorossi went a goal down before fighting back to eventually seal an important 3-1 victory that saw them qualify the group in second place.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the game, the Special One was quick to point out how tricky the tie was and how important it is to progress:
It was a very difficult game, they know how to play, they have players with creativity and speed who can do what they did in the action that led to their goal and at home in the first leg.
It is not an easy team to face. In the second half we entered with a different attitude. The characteristics of Zaniolo helped us a lot in getting back on track.
Then the goal came and it was a huge relief for us. But we have to play better, manage the games better. The teams that qualify for the knockout round are from the Champions League, they’re of a much higher level. It was important to get through the group as a matter of pride. Now, here come the Champions League sharks.
I want to mention Vina once more. They don’t respect him enough. When we’re playing away he’s a different player than the one we see at home. Here there’s a lot of noise that doesn’t help him. And it’s a shame because he’s got a great attitude.
To continue our journey in Europa League is a matter of pride. We started here, going to the Conference and becoming one of the strongest teams in that competition again was not the goal we set out to achieve.
After Napoli we won three games: we are tired, Pellegrini and Smalling played 90 ‘again. One of the most important things in recovering from fatigue is joy from winning these kinds of matches.”