Luis Enrique has shrugged off concerns about Roma after defeat midweek, saying that preparing to face Inter as a team with identity is a victory in itself.
The Giallorossi fell to a heavy 4-2 defeat on Wednesday night at Cagliari. Subsequently, they welcome Claudio Ranieri’s Nerazzurri to the Olimpico on Sunday a further point behind them in the table, after their draw with Palermo on the same night.
“[Facing Inter] is always a big game,” enthused Enrique. “The good thing is that after a defeat, we can immediately play again and this is an opportunity for us and we will try to win.
“I’m aware of Inter. They are a very strong team with great players and have improved so much. It will be a tough game. We will have ball possession but their counter-attacks will be very dangerous.”
Enrique was asked more than once about the effect the defeat to Cagliari may have on his players ahead of the weekend.
“Every game I wonder where I can improve, not only in defeat, but I cannot do this in public. I do the best for this team and continue to be optimistic, watching how the team trains every day.
“Roma has an identity, this is a victory already. If we give 100 per cent but are not attentive to the details, we can be beaten easily. I still believe the team is on the right track.
“In all the statistics we were ahead of Cagliari, but we lost both games this season. We have an identity, currently far from the top, but who knows what the future holds?
“In many games we have been superior to our adversaries but we have made mistakes. I’m happy to see an identity.”
The Spaniard continued, asserting the belief that his players are capable of meeting the desired standards even when playing every three days, as this week demands.
“Watch Juventus, they play at 100 per cent, they know that if they drop their levels they could be in difficulty. They have a high physical level and are good technically.
“Also Barcelona need to play every game at 100 per cent. The intensity, to do everything at 100 per cent, that is what sees you become great.
“We need a team effort, it is a matter of regularity and concentration. There are times when we will have to suffer.”
“When we win it is that the young people are great and when we lose they are not. The team is much more, we win and lose together, old and young players and the Coach. The team above all else.
“Against Inter I expect a tough match, so far we have always had the support of the fans, even if sometimes we have not deserved it. We have to play without fear of the trust they have in us.”
Inter have failed to win their last three games in all competitions, but Enrique refused to entertain the idea that it could influence Sunday’s proceedings.
“This discussion is not important for us, any team can get into trouble. Ranieri is a Coach at a very high level, I also know his work from Spain. I know of his relationship with Roma, I can only speak well of him.
“But I do not know how he works, but his value is beyond any doubt.”