Coppa Italia

SPALLETTI: "WE MUST GET OVER THIS QUICKLY AND FINISH THE SEASON WELL"

See what coach Luciano Spalletti had to say in the wake of Roma's TIM Cup exit on Tuesday. The Giallorossi beat Lazio 3-2 in the second leg of their semi-final tie at the Stadio Olimpico, but nevertheless went out 3-4 on aggregate.

Are you concerned this might have an impact on your league form?

"We'll see. Time is a great healer. Obviously we're disappointed to go out but we can't change the past. We must stay focused to prepare for the future."

The three goals almost came in the wrong half an hour. Would you agree?

"I think overall we did quite well. Clearly, when you trail by two goals from the first leg you have to play well and be ready to convert the chances that come your way. We had some before we conceded and we weren't on our toes. Then our opponents scored on their first foray forward. That made everything more difficult and it overshadowed the team's performance. If you're not careful, you can lose your heads in moments like those, go gung-ho, press like crazy and leave space which they can exploit as we saw on their second goal. In general, however, my players kept their heads and their shape."

What hurts more, going out of the TIM Cup or the fact that despite some great statistics you could end the season empty-handed?

"We must accept the result and analyse things in the right way, whilst keeping in mind all of the positive aspects of the work we've done this season. Unfortunately, we do have some good numbers and we've done a lot but we didn't perform in two big games and we've gone out narrowly. The opposition beat us by two goals in this tie but if I look at the first leg in which we lost 2-0 I don't think we got everything wrong. The result from the first leg affected tonight's match and then obviously the psychology of the game changes once you concede. However all of the work we've done alongside this remains."

It seems like your claim that you'd leave if Roma didn't win a trophy this season was aimed at motivating the team. Can you confirm that?

"My fate is in my own hands. The discussions I have with my players stem from the long period of time we've spent together. When we say that we must win because we're a good side, we also have to take responsibility when we don't win. Now obviously we have another target. We must get over this cup exit and keep working hard in our remaining matches. Above all we have to look at our very impressive league position. Last season we started 12 points behind Napoli, seven off Inter and five behind Fiorentina. This year we're in there with Napoli trying to cut the gap with Juventus. That shows the work that has been done. Now we must avoid wasting needless energy after this loss. Now is not the time to talk about my future. My future is linked to trying to finish as high as possible."

You've brought back passion and excitement to the Roma fans here during your two spells. Do you not feel it's been a success?

"I must draw attention to the mentality we've created. We must take responsibility for our comments. I come here and say that we're brilliant. I've involved the players on that too as we all think that Roma are a top side that should win trophies. But if we don't win, if we didn't go through against Lyon, if we didn't step up tonight at key moments I begin to wonder, 'How has this happened?' The coach has a role to play and must take responsibility."

(Photo LaPresse)

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