Sinisa Mihajlovic has considered his friendship with Francesco Totti and explained why Sampdoria will be gunning for a result at Roma.
The Blucerchiati travel south to the capital this coming Sunday evening for Week 24’s League fixture very much as the underdog.
However, on from assessing how he has turned things around so far at Marassi, Mihajlovic is eyeing at least the right approach this weekend.
“I have asked the boys to play our game even when in a big challenge, because if we have this mentality, then beating the teams around our level becomes easier,” the 44-year-old has continued in the Corriere dello Sport today.
“Maybe on Sunday against Roma it will be easier to cause trouble on the counter-attacks, but I do not care.
“If you were to force me, then maybe I would take a draw, even if I am convinced that we will score a goal anyway.
“That’s why I prefer to play openly. After the match, neither I nor my men want to have any regrets.
“The Giallorossi have played a game less, but when I arrived at Sampdoria, Roma had more points then than we do now. But why should we not try?”
Miha is friends with Roma’s Francesco Totti.
“I consider him my friend, whilst there was a period in which we did not speak.
“It came after he did not come to my farewell game in football. I invited him and he did not even answer me. To me, respect is important.
“Now we have patched up the relationship and everything is fine. When Roma were coached by Zeman, I went to see training as Coach of Serbia and Francesco, when he saw me on the sidelines, jokingly came up to me and said, ‘who gave you permission to come here, to my house?’
“I told him, ‘Do I have to ask permission from you? I come here whenever I want’. And we hugged.
“I consider Francesco the greatest Italian footballer of all time. Greater than Baggio and Rivera. Roma with or without Totti is not the same team.
“If he is not there, there is no light. I hope that he continues to play for a long time and goes to the World Cup. He is a great champion.”
Before arriving at Samp, the tactician was in charge of the Serbian national team, where he notably dropped Giallorosso Adem Ljajic for refusing to sing the national anthem.
“I would repeat that decision again. I am a Serb and I love my country, even if Italy is my second home.
“Anyone who experienced the war grew inside and out. I wanted to recreate a spirit and here there was no compromise.
“I have always spoken well of him, though, because he deserves it.
“How can he improve? In playing the ball. For now, he likes to have too much fun, but the day that he understands that he must be more decisive, he can make that final leap.”
Mihajlovic was asked of his free-kick scoring record in Serie A coming under threat from Andrea Pirlo. The Serb has previously indicated his openness to hold a ‘free-kick challenge’ with the Juventus man.
“Which of us is the better from free-kicks? I don’t know. He has almost caught me in the scoring list, but I also had scored many with Red Star. And if we add those…goodbye.
“Given the choice, however, I would prefer for him to be the one to overtake me.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!