Saturday October 15 2011
Enrique: 'Ready for Rome derby'

Luis Enrique says he's ready for the “special” first Derby della Capitale, but has to do without Francesco Totti.

The Roma Coach had a rough start to his Italian experience, though went into the break for international duty off two consecutive victories.

“I understood two months ago that this was a special game,” smiled the ex-Barcelona B manager.

“It's important for the team, fans and club. We are going into this match in good shape, but the importance of the fixture does not change the way we prepare.

“Clearly it is not a game like any other, but I am not worried by winning or losing the derby. I just want to do my best so that my team can win every match.

“I'm not thinking about my future, nor the idea that if I lose the derby and win every other match, I'll still get fired. I've said many times the club supports me and I've never felt any doubts. That doesn't mean it won't happen in future, as you never know with football, but the job of a Coach is to focus on the present. The future doesn't exist.”

Roma will have to reshuffle, as talismanic captain Totti has been ruled out with a thigh strain. Miralem Pjanic is expected to move up in his place, although he is also not 100 per cent fit.

“It is disappointing Totti won't be there,” continued Enrique. “It's always difficult when players return from international duty, but he trained well and is part of the squad.

“Lazio are a strong side with three quality strikers of international level. Miroslav Klose will be motivated and I'm happy he is fit enough to feature. I studied Lazio this season and past derbies to understand how they move.

“Of course I hope the pressure of losing five consecutive derbies does weigh on Lazio's shoulders. On the other hand, we are still building a new project and they are more complete at this stage. I fear their collective moment and the individuals like Hernanes.”

Totti joked at Edy Reja's awful record against Roma by saying the Lazio Coach was his “lucky charm” in the derby.

“I won't fall into that trip,” smiled the Spaniard. “I have the utmost respect for all Coaches. I realise it's a playful joke in Rome, but I won't talk about that.”

Luis Enrique prompted controversy this week when barring fans from viewing their training sessions.

“It's not true I called the police. The fact is the club has to resolve this problem, as they are mainly children who climb on the walls of the training ground and can get hurt. In training I study set plays and it's best the fans don't know what we're doing. They have to understand the situation.”