Roma President Rosella Sensi has released an official statement reassuring Francesco Totti, but also noting “competition must be motivating, not a pain.”
The captain was furious after coming off the bench for the last three minutes of Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Sampdoria.
“I think the moment has come to focus only on work and results. Roma have a competitive squad and proved it many times during this campaign,” wrote President Sensi.
“We have pushed ourselves to improve the side and follow ambitions requested by everyone, including fans, directors, the Coach and players.
“In today's Roma there are two players for every role, but the effect of this has probably not been fully understood or shown in a positive light.
“Competition must be motivating, a guarantee for the players themselves and not be seen as a pain. Who loves this jersey and accepted being part of one of Europe's most important clubs has to prepare and give professional responses when called on.
“I understand the sadness of those who don't see Roma in the places they deserve, but it is not right for anyone to engage in self-defeating behaviour.
“As for Totti,” continued Sensi, “who I consider to be the greatest player ever to wear this jersey, I say that more than any other he has been put at the centre of our plans to become – hopefully later rather than sooner – a key director.
“I therefore tell my captain that even if the Sensi family will soon leave Roma, he should think about the responsibility that we have taken together for the fans and the city.
“We must protect the consistency of Roma through our actions, words and behaviour. I know Francesco is better than he is often represented in the media, which is why I'm certain from tomorrow he'll be the key figure in the second half of the season to take Roma to the top.
“As for the rest, the club will think about that, sharing the captain's sadness for the lack of results. I know we will never lower the Roma flag until the right results have been achieved.”