Friday August 29 2014
Garcia 'only thinking about Fiorentina'

Rudi Garcia wants to forget about the pre-season hype and focus solely on beating Fiorentina tomorrow.

Roma have been touted by many as one of the favourites to lift the Scudetto come next May, having strengthened with the likes of Juan Iturbe and Ashley Cole.

But the Coach has insisted that he is ignoring any outside voices and is only thinking about beating the Viola tomorrow in their opening League clash.

“I've read lots of things since the start of pre-season - from euphoria, as if we'd already won, to negative things,” he told a Press conference.

“But our main aim is to enjoy ourselves when we play and make sure the fans enjoy themselves too.

“At the moment we're just thinking about beating Fiorentina, then we'll move on to [the next League game against] Empoli and the Champions League. We have a marathon to run this year.

“My players are ready, they can't wait to start and get stuck into the competitive matches.”

The French tactician has brought in a host of players this season, and was asked about Iturbe, Kostas Manolas and Salih Ucan – all of whom have joined this summer.

“We have a bigger squad this year, it's necessary given the games we have to play. We needed two per position and we have that.

“We'll be missing a few players tomorrow but we have able replacements who can come in

“Manolas? He's our defender for the future. I don't know if he'll start against Fiorentina but he's available"

“Iturbe is improving a lot. I've been impressed by his attitude and commitment in training.

“Ucan is a talented youngster. The first thing he needs to do is learn the language, he'll be a very important midfielder for us.”

He then remarked on some of the more senior players in the squad, and whether Mattia Destro would be leaving.

“I have lots of leaders in the team, not just Totti and De Rossi. When Maicon and Strootman are back we'll be stronger mentally.

“Destro is an important player for us and Italy. He doesn't get the credit he deserves.”

Napoli were knocked out of the Champions League and the play-off stage, leaving Serie A with just two representatives in the competition – but Garcia believes the League is stronger than ever.

“The situation in Italy is not as black as everyone makes it out to be. But my task must be to think exclusively about Roma

“Juventus? They haven't lost anyone and they've brought in Morata and Evra. That says it all.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with