Ahead of the Coppa Italia clash with Juventus, Rudi Garcia has stressed Roma are only concerned with booking their place in the semi-finals.
The Giallorossi are Juventus’ closest challengers in the title race, but the 3-0 defeat to the Old Lady three weeks ago still sees them trailing the leaders by eight points.
However, Garcia has stated his team will not be actively seeking revenge against the Bianconeri in tomorrow evening’s Cup quarter-final.
“This is the most important game of this week,” began Garcia to reporters today.
“But above all it is a game that leads to the semi-finals, and that is what counts. We’ve to ensure that Roma is the team going through.”
“The Olimpico will be nearly full and that will make for a great environment. It is a good advantage for us, it is easier to play at home with the fans behind the team.
“The League? “It is difficult to talk about this, as it is not my focus going into this game. The League is in the past and we are doing well. We moved two points ahead of Napoli and three on Inter.
“We will have time to talk about this later, as there are still so many days ahead and we also have the return leg against Juventus at the Olimpico.
“Today, we are solely concentrated on the Coppa and getting through to the next round.”
Garcia was pressed for whether he has seen his team react to Week 18’s defeat to Juve.
“It’s useless to talk about this game as it is in the past. We have responded well in the following games, and that is all that matters because the truth comes from the field.
“It was important to get back to winning ways right away and we did that against Sampdoria.
“Moreover, it is important to win in the League, but I have no doubts about the desire of this team. Every game we give everything we have.”
Roma have been active in the transfer window and following on from Radja Nainggolan’s arrival from Cagliari, full-back Michel Bastos is set to join the club pending a medical. Garcia believes that both players will give a boost to the Lupi.
“We are stronger now with these two players, as they give us more solutions. [Michael] Bradley may have left, but Nainggolan’s arrival means that we have maintained numerical parity in midfield.
“Bastos provides us with more options going forward, especially on the flanks. With [Federico] Balzaretti injured, he also presents us with a defensive option. He still has to do work to get to the physical level expected, but he will start training.”
Turning his attention to tomorrow’s game, Garcia was asked if Miralem Pjanic would be starting and how he plans to stop Andrea Pirlo.
“We have five strong players in the midfield, and we will also be needing them in Europe. But, the fact that we signed Nainggolan does not mean that we will be allowing Pjanic to leave.”
“It is not just question of stopping Pirlo. They have so many strong players, and they can be dangerous from all sides.
“But it is the same for them. We too have 13 or 14 players who have found the net this season, and that can be seen as having an extra weapon.
“Pirlo is a champion, and if he isn’t that involved, then better for us. But, we have to play our own game and be more effective and cynical.”
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