Saturday October 6 2012
Zeman: 'Roma must compete'

Zdenek Zeman is glad Roma President James Pallotta arrived to help steer them through a crisis, but shrugged off Antonio Conte questions.

The Giallorossi are still smarting from last week’s 4-1 defeat to Juventus, especially as the result could’ve been much harsher, and welcome Atalanta in the Sunday lunchtime kick-off. Click here for a match preview.

“I am happy that Pallotta arrived and showed the owners are interested in growing Roma as both a club and a team,” said Zeman.

“I get the feeling there is a solid club behind me and I have never wanted for anything here.”

There are reports of big changes for tomorrow’s match, as Francesco Totti and Pablo Daniel Osvaldo are among those at risk of being dropped.

“The way I see it, every player in the squad can have the chance to start. There will be times when some play more often than others.

“When you lose, it really hurts, but I think in all of us there is that hunger to improve. Since the first day of pre-season training I have asked for my players to behave a certain way and fight for silverware.

“Media pressure is only to be expected after the wake-up call we got in Turin, but we worked better in training this week.

“Are the media trying to destabilise the side with false reports of Erik Lamela arguing with Osvaldo? The tales told certainly are not positive for the club or the city. We are not here for the media, but for the fans.”

Roma have only won a single game all season, as their 3-0 with Cagliari was awarded by the courts.

“Am I taking a step back after Juventus? No, I remain convinced Roma can always compete. Atalanta are to be considered dangerous, even if they have had more problems than at this stage last season.”

Changes are also expected in defence, as Nicolas Burdisso looks set to be dropped.

“I think Burdisso’s problem is not so much physical as tactical. He doesn’t yet believe in what he has to do.”

Naturally, Zeman was asked about Juventus Coach Conte’s appeal, which reduced the ban from 10 months to four.

“I haven’t read the full verdict, but if the court reduced his ban then they must’ve had good reasons.”

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