UEFA Europa Conference League

MOURINHO: WE'LL BE BETTER THAN LAST TIME WE WERE HERE

Jose Mourinho held his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, as Roma prepare to face Bodo/Glimt in the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League.

Thursday's match at the Aspymra Stadion gets underway at 21:00 CEST, as the two sides - who faced each other in the group stage of the competition - lock horns once again.

After Bodo got the better of those group encounters, Mourinho is adamant his side will be a different proposition this time around.

Here is what he had to say.

Welcome back! How is it to be back in Bodo?

“I told you the first time. Beautiful place, with a passion for football. I am always happy to come here. The only problem for me is to again play on an artificial pitch, which is of course bad. But that is the way it is and we have to think about trying to get into the semi-finals. We hope we can do much better than the first time.”

You remember the 6-1, then – will it be a different match tomorrow? What are your thoughts heading into the game, as you are now playing much better in Italy too?

“Of course it is going to be a different match. First of all because there are never two equal matches. And second because we have changed so much since the first match that it is difficult to compare. Four of the players that started the game here are not with us anymore – Bryan Reynolds, Gonzalo Villar, Borja Mayoral, Riccardo Calafiori. They are not even with us now.

"So we are going to be a different team in terms of the players but I believe a different team also in our confidence level and motivational levels. The group phase, we knew that we were probably going to be in the next phase and a defeat would not be a drama. Of course, losing 6-1 is more than a defeat - but in the end it was just three points we lost.

"But now it is knockout. Now only one team goes through, whereas in the group phase we both went through. Now only one goes into the semi-final and of couse we will face the game with a different perspective as a result. But full of respect for Bodo as a team, because they are a good team.”

Bodo have also sold some players since last time you faced them. What do you think of Bodo now?

“I think they are the same. They have changed some players, but the way the team thinks about football and the way the team plays is the same. The players that have come to replace the others, their profile is not very different. Even if you look to the left-back, one was left-footed and now this one is right-footed – but the dynamic of the team is very, very similar. So I think they are the same team.

“They are in good condition. They had their [off-season] break, they had their preparation, they have come back recently to real competition. So they are fresh. They are in good condition and I think they will be as good as they were before. I think we will be much better than we were before and I hope that makes a difference for us.”

One guy that is still here with Bodo is Ola Solbakken, although he might not play tomorrow. Do you have a plan to stop him? Some rumours also say you are interested in signing him?

“I am interested in nobody, I am just interested in winning the match tomorrow. I don’t speak about individual players, especially players that belong to other teams. I look at Bodo as a team. Of course we analyse the individuals; it is important to know them so we can prepare the team as well as we can. Bodo has lots of good players. I think a couple of them are also good at talking – they like to talk. But we are here for them tomorrow, and next week we will be waiting in Rome too.”

(Photo LaPresse)

www.asroma.com



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