Sunday February 26 2012
Enrique: 'Why I dropped De Rossi'

Luis Enrique explains he froze out Daniele De Rossi because “he did not seem prepared” for Roma’s 4-1 hammering against Atalanta.

The midfielder was left in the stands despite no physical problems, so it was reported he had turned up a few minutes late for this morning’s tactical meeting and was therefore penalised.

“I don’t talk about what happens in the locker room. Daniele did not seem prepared and if I don’t see a player looking prepared then I don’t send him on to the field,” said Enrique.

“I explained myself, right? I am certain that today any other player would not have made the difference.

“I am working in the medium to long term and trying to build a squad. This is not a revolution. I am building a team and that requires responsibilities that for me are non-negotiable.

“I may not have much experience, but I spent over 15 years in locker rooms of top clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid, so I know how to handle players. If we are to become a team, then certain choices have to be made.

“There isn’t much to salvage from this match. I think we just weren’t there in the first half, suffering a great deal on their counter-attacks. The second half was similar. It’s very difficult like this.

“It was all a bit too easy for Atalanta. The game was over at 3-1. When we’re away from home this keeps on happening. I don’t know whether my team will go out there distracted or ready to play good football.

“We were distracted from the first minute today and it is starting to become a problem.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with