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Luciano Spalletti: Roma will never win if they continue like this

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Il Tempo (Adriano Serafini) A nightmare week, which has reawoken all the demons of the past. Their third consecutive defeat now threatens their European adventure, which could have provided a tired and demoralised team with the energy needed to keep going. It’s a question of maturity, but Roma aren’t able to answer it. At the end of the game, Spalletti didn’t try to hide it either. “We need to put a few things right and talk to each other clearly and in detail. I’m sure we can turn this result around in the second leg, but if we want to do it then we have to change some things. We can’t do it like that.” Like an unsolved problem that rears its head again when you least expect it, the coach was forced to face the same frustrations as he has in the past as his players failed to keep their heads from dropping. “When things go well for us we come out of our shells and express ourselves, but when things go the other way we are players that are very clean in nature.”

To find the causes and motivations, we only have to go back to what Spalletti said in January, when he frequently pointed out how hard this run of games would be. Essentially, there are 2 major and equal faults: the team’s mentality and the lack of activity in the transfer market. “I expected more from us in terms of quality, because when we show what we’re capable of out on the pitch, we’re able to compensate for any shortcomings, but when we don’t everything is a bit more difficult.” Now comes the road to recovery and getting out of the slump. “I thought that we could have done better after the substitutions, but instead we conceded again after the changes. I hoped that we’d have been able to lower the tempo at the start of the second half, but instead we conceded straight away. We’ve never been ruthless in attack. In general the team didn’t do that badly, but this is a tough result.”

Spalletti had actually spoken about his future just before the game in an interview with L’Equipe. “In Rome, it’s imperative to win for a number of reasons. I came back here after nearly 7 years and I found it’s still the same situation, everything works the same. So, as I’ve said, if it continues like this, if people keep behaving in the same way, then we’ll continue to never achieve anything in this city. If I don’t win something, it means that I won’t have done better than my predecessors and I’ll go home. The same goes for Totti if he isn’t given the option of choosing what to do himself.” In the meantime, looking back at the present, sporting director Massara made his first plea for help. “This is the first critical moment of the season, we need our fans to help us turn results around.”

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