Rudi Garcia says Roma can play without pressure tomorrow evening in the Champions League against Manchester City.
The Giallorossi are in England for tomorrow night’s second matchday of the group stage already with three points to their name thanks to the opening 5-1 win over CSKA Moscow.
Combined with opponents City’s defeat to Bayern Munich and where expectation lies, the Lupi’s Coach has reflected on where the pressure will be.
“We have three points, we have started well and we will have the chance to play without pressure,” explained Garcia in his pre-match address to the media.
“After the draw, everyone took this game as a defeat, so we only have to gain from going to the Etihad.
“Are we third favourites to advance? Do not forget that at the draw we were in the fourth pot, not the third. It means that we are the outsiders, as we are facing the champions of Germany and England.
“We have this role as the outsider, but it can give us pride in being able to then demonstrate that the assessment of our team should be greater.
“There is no personal challenge, just a challenge to play. I’ve said it after the last League game, we have to be protagonists and not spectators in this team. We know it will be tough, but we will do everything possible to make it hard for City.”
Garcia explained how he is viewing Manuel Pellegrini’s team heading into this fixture.
“City are a team that like possession as we do. We have studied them and they have players able to accelerate the play in possession, when they create or find the space.
“Tomorrow we will see the attitude they will have, we have will to be good at responding to whatever that is and making sure to win back the ball well, because there will also be an offensive plan for us.”
Talk turned to Roma’s hopes of advancing into the knockout stages, if they were to win tomorrow.
“This is only the second game, this phase will not be finished tomorrow. If tomorrow we were able to have more points it would be an interesting step forward in qualification.
“Concerning a positive result, I don’t want to think about it, whilst there are also a further 12 points to be awarded.
“Champions League games are very easy to prepare for, because I do not need to motivate the players.
“The good news is that after the game on Sunday [against Juventus] we will have a week to regroup and we can give everything on the field tomorrow. We are not making any calculations.”
Garcia also confirmed that Morgan De Sanctis is not 100 per cent and he will need to be assessed before being passed fit to start tomorrow, having suffered with muscle discomfort at the weekend.