UEFA Europa Conference League


Jose Mourinho backed his players, cheered on by an Olimpico crowd, to overcome Thursday's first leg defeat against Bodo/Glimt.

The Giallorossi fell to a 2-1 defeat at the Aspmyra Stadion despite Lorenzo Pellegrini's first-half goal, as Hugo Veltesen's late finish ensured the Norwegian champions grabbed a slender advantage in the tie.

Here's what Mourinho had to say about the result, along with what he expects next week at Stadio Olimpico...

What could the team have done differently in the second half?

“The two goals are two [poor] goals to concede … one of them coming from a dead-ball situation. And those are always valuable goals – we’ve scored a lot of them ourselves – but they are the sort you are happy to score, angry to concede. There was a lack of concentration there.

“The first goal, meanwhile, was just absolutely ridiculous. But the thing that really worries me is Gianluca Mancini’s injury, which immediately seemed a bit concerning – the sort of injury you pick up from playing on plastic pitches.

“We’ve lost 2-1 tonight, but we still have a second leg to play. A second leg that will be at the Stadio Olimpico, in front of our fans. So I don’t have any problem in saying that I still feel we are favourites to reach the semi-finals.”

So you have confidence in your team ahead of that second leg…

“Of course. Total confidence in my players, confidence in the atmosphere at the stadium, confidence in the support our fans will show. Obviously we are going up against a tough side.

“And I also have confidence in a good referee, with good assistants. Because when we played against them in Rome last time, there were two clear penalties for us that the referee that night didn’t see. And, again today, in the first half there were two moments that were judged to be offside and in the second half one where there was a throw-in given. That gives a good summary of the level [of officiating].”

What about Lorenzo Pellegrini – who has never scored 12 goals in a season before in his career?

“He should be scoring even more. With his quality, he should be scoring even more.”

(Photo LaPresse)