Rudi Garcia was happy with the first hour of Roma’s performance against Juventus and insisted “nothing is over yet.”
The Giallorossi had not lost under his tenure, but were beaten 3-0 by Juventus with Daniele De Rossi and Leandro Castan sent off in the final stages.
“I don’t know if this was the worst way to lose our unbeaten record, but it is bad to end with nine men,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“On 2-0 we still had the chance to get back into the game, but we were unlucky to concede the two goals in bad moments of the match.
“We had a good first half, but Juve were efficient in keeping us out. We now have a Coppa Italia game to play and after that we’re back in Serie A, so we have to get back on track and rediscover the victory as soon as possible.”
Asked if Roma’s title ambitions were over after falling eight points behind the leaders, Garcia saw the glass half-full.
“There are another 60 points available, but the title is not our objective. Our objective is to get back into Europe, so we are now second and that is a good place to be in. After that, we’ll see what happens.
“We played a very good first half and I had forgotten we were playing on the home turf of the Serie A leaders, who usually kept possession and pushed opponents back into their own half here.
“Unfortunately, they scored at the first chance and we didn’t take ours. It hurt to concede straight after the restart. Juve did well on set plays and we have to work on some issues.
“In my view it is a problem of efficiency. Neither side had that many chances, so you’ve got to take them when they arrive. We know this is football and Juve have a ruthless team, so we must learn to be ruthless too.
“It is always difficult to play away to Juve and keep a clean sheet. They have very strong strikers, but I have no doubt that in the first half we played the right game. In order to win you also need luck in important moments and tonight the luck was more with Juventus than with us.”
Adem Ljajic was surprisingly picked instead of Mattia Destro, but Garcia assured he had no regrets.
“I’d pick the same line-up again, of course. It wasn’t an issue of tactics, strengths or weaknesses. Every game is different. Now we must keep a low profile and work even harder to win this type of match. Don’t forget there will be a Roma-Juventus encounter in May and nothing has finished today.”
This is the first time Garcia has had to deal with a defeat at Roma, a club and fans notorious for their peaks and troughs.
“I am 100 per cent confident in my players. After a defeat we have to push forward and use the feelings of disappointment we have tonight in our future games.”
Finally, the French manager shrugged off any controversy regarding the two red cards.
“I did not see anything from the touchline, so I prefer not to comment. It’s difficult to end the game with nine men, that is true, but we did not lose because of that. When Daniele was sent off, it was already 2-0 for Juve.”