Saturday May 4 2019
Manolas: 'Ranieri changed Roma mentality'

Kostas Manolas claims Roma “changed mentality” since Claudio Ranieri replaced Eusebio Di Francesco, but “would already be in the Champions League” without disappointing against minnows.

The Giallorossi visit Genoa on Sunday at 17.00 UK time (16.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“We are a more compact team, unlike what we were under Di Francesco,” he told the AS Roma Match Program.

“We changed our mentality, as before we held a high line and pressed further up the field, but now we are more solid, and you can see that in our latest results.”

The Greece international blamed a run of poor results against sides in the lower half of the table for their current position.

“When you lose to SPAL, draw with Chievo at home or draw 2-2 against nine-man Cagliari, of course, there will be regrets. We could already be in the Champions League spots if it wasn’t for those points we threw away."

The Giallorossi face Genoa this weekend knowing that even if they win all their remaining games, they could still miss out on Champions League qualification to Atalanta.

“It will be a very difficult match with Genoa, as they are fighting to avoid relegation. We must play to win. If we don’t win, then the Champions League disappears.

“We have to win all our matches and hope the others slip up. I’ve never seen a situation like this in Italy before with so many teams fighting for the top four.”

The capital side have an almost full squad to pick from, with just Daniele De Rossi, Davide Santon and Diego Perotti out of the trip to Marassi.

“This year we have rarely had a full squad, we had too many injuries, but at this stage of the season, it is important that we have a fully fit group.

“We all feel the pressure to play well, as now there is someone waiting to come and take your place if you don’t and competition is better for everyone,” continued Manolas.

“The Coach always tries to motivate us and our training is always competitive. He puts the idea into our heads that we must always win.

“Ranieri is a great man who always speaks to you face to face. His philosophy of keeping things tight at the back has given us a perfect base to work from.”

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