Serie A TIM

SPALLETTI: "WE KNOW WHAT THE TEAM NEEDS AHEAD OF NEXT SEASON"

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has spoken to the media about a range of Giallorossi matters, from transfer plans for the summer to his hopes for the coming campaign: "We need to ensure we’re well prepared to play an important role next season too," Spalletti noted. "We should be aiming for the top positions and we need to fight our battles in other ways, not just players. Through our play, for example – that enables you to beat anyone."

How did you rate Italy’s opening game against Belgium?
“I sat down to watch the game with friends and I thought Italy produced a great performance. They deserved what was a really important win. I won’t make any predictions, but they showed that they’re well prepared across the board. They tried to play directly all the time – it was a fantastic performance and they’re an organised side. I can’t believe the people complaining about Italy playing the same old way. Conte really deserved the win. Starting the tournament well is very important, it helps you to gain belief in your abilities. Our players are tough and history shows that. Having said that, I’ve seen some other good teams at the Euros too.”

What was your opinion of Daniele De Rossi’s performance?
“He had an excellent end to the season and performed well against Belgium too. He can’t allow his level to drop now – he can’t dip below his maximum.”

What do you think about Miralem Pjanic’s departure?
“It’s simple. What are we going to speak about when there’s a clause and someone exercises it? It’s a free world – everyone can choose what they want to do. The fact that he signed that contract means he was open to a change. He was an important player for us and he will be for Juventus too. He’s an exceptional lad, you can’t criticise him as a person. He’s a fantastic professional. A great player leaves us but we have another one in [Kevin] Strootman who is getting back to firing on all cylinders. We need to ensure we’re well prepared enough to play an important part next season too. We should be aiming for the top positions and we need to fight our battles in other ways, not just players. Through our play, for example – that enables you to beat anyone.”

What can you tell us about plans for the summer transfer window?
“We need to strengthen in defence due to injuries and departures. [Walter] Sabatini is well aware of what the team needs.”

How are you feeling ahead of the new season?
“We need to start from the collective. We did some great things last season but we need to do even better now.”

What are the goals for next season?
“Juventus are the best team if we’re looking at the squads, but there are other ways to make life difficult for them. We and all the other teams need to believe we can cause the Bianconeri problems.”

(Photo LaPresse)

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