Saturday April 2 2011
Montella: 'Roma-Juve, a lot at stake'

Vincenzo Montella is trying to keep Roma focused on the game with Juventus amid takeover talks. “It is much more important.”

The club is turned upside down with American businessman Thomas Di Benedetto agreeing a deal to buy out 60 per cent of AS Roma, fuelling reports on future players and management.

“I believe Sunday's game is much more important and would prefer not to talk about other matters right now,” said the Coach.

“The team has been separated from the whole situation, partly because they are used to talk about the ownership over a period of time. I'm pleased to see the squad concentrated on the task at hand.

“I thank Di Benedetto for the kind words, but for now I am responsible to those who hired me in the first place. I don't think about my future, because it's not as if finishing fourth will mean I stay in this job, or I could end up fifth and not be fired. I try to do my best and then we'll see.”

Roma-Juventus is a big match that feels like the crossroads for European qualification.

“Gigi Del Neri is a great Coach and he worked with us for a few months here at Roma. His teams have for years played in the same way and are thoroughly organised for every situation, but at the same time have some weaknesses that we could exploit.”

Montella has generally snubbed Jeremy Menez since taking charge, but there are reports the Frenchman will start against Juventus.

“Of course we expect a lot from Menez and he has a chance of playing, but everyone has to participate in the overall team move.

“Francesco Totti's enthusiasm has been boosted by going over the 200 Serie A goal mark, so he's physically and psychologically in great shape.

“I'd be happy if I saw the same grit, determination and clear head that Roma had in the derby, perhaps with some added quality too.

“Juve have left Rome with points for too many years now and we want to change that trend. Roma need a victory to chase fourth spot and Juventus really want the points too in order to qualify for Europe. There is a lot at stake.”

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