Sunday January 9 2011
Ranieri: 'Shame about the mistakes'

Claudio Ranieri feels “it was a shame about those two big mistakes” and defends his decision to bench Francesco Totti.

Roma were leading at the break, but when Philippe Mexes went off at half-time, replacement Juan's two howlers gifted Sampdoria a 2-1 victory.

“The doctor came to me and said Mexes had a muscular problem, so it was better not to risk it,” revealed the Coach.

“It's a shame, as we were having a great game. There were two big mistakes, but they can happen to a champion over the course of his career.

“Was it down to an excess of confidence? I don't know, you'd have to ask Juan. It really is such a shame, as we came here with the hunger to win and were achieving that aim. We've got to keep on battling like this.”

The first error led to a penalty and goalkeeper Julio Sergio's red card.

“You could say it would've been better to concede the goal rather than the dismissal, but a goalkeeper doesn't think about that. He tries to get the ball and if he doesn't get there in time then it's a penalty. I can't blame the goalkeeper, it was instinct.

“I had to take someone off to introduce the replacement ‘keeper and it pained me to choose Jeremy Menez. Whoever I picked, it would've been a problem for me.”

Totti was only introduced in stoppages and it was too late to make an impact.

“I told him all I needed was one moment of magic, but I thought there would be more injury time than there was.”

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