Wednesday February 22 2017
Spalletti: ‘Roma not EL favourites’

Luciano Spalletti dismisses talk Roma are Manchester United’s main Europa League challengers - “we just have to win as many matches as possible”.

The Giallorossi thrashed Villarreal in the first leg of their Last 32 tie, and are second-favourite with most bookmakers to lift the trophy, behind Jose Mourinho’s side.

“I don’t know what we’ll do, what we’ll find ahead of us in this competition,” Spalletti shrugged in his Press conference ahead of tomorrow’s second leg.

“What I do know is that we’re not thinking about anything other than Villarreal, we want to give joy to our fans like we did last Thursday.

“It was a very nice sight to see from the bus, and I want to point out the welcome our fans received while wearing their colours in another city.

“We need to stop talking about adversaries and start feeling togetherness, so I hope it will be the same for the Spanish who come to see this match.

“As I’ve said, we just have to win as many matches as possible. Tomorrow is a game where we have to go out and force the pace immediately, that must become a habit, a constant.

“When you analyse matches in a competition like this, you do it over two matches. The end of the first game is a water break.

“We don’t want to scrimp a 0-0, we want to impose our game against anyone who is in our path. The clamour to do that must be constant.

“If we don’t press the opponent like we did in the first leg I’ll be disappointed, in myself first of all and then in the players. But I really don’t know where we’ll end up.”

Spalletti was then asked if Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko would be rested for the fixture.

"They are both champions of an international level, but they won't play tomorrow.

"Tomorrow night they won't play, and depending on how the others do, maybe they won't play the next fixture either..."