Roma retained their 100% start under Jose Mourinho by grinding down an initially stubborn Salernitana on Sunday.
After a goalless first half, Roma turned up the tempo after the break and won 4-0, thanks to goals from Jordan Veretout and Tammy Abraham sandwiched between a Lorenzo Pellegrini brace.
Here’s how Mourinho reacted after the game, which sent Roma into the international break on a high note.
On staying in control
“There was no way we weren’t going to win tonight. I was calm from the first minute. The team played really, really well. I told them that, against Fiorentina, even when we were 1-0 up and a man up, I was worried about the game – whereas tonight when it was 0-0 and 11 against 11 I was completely calm. The team dominated every moment of the match.”
On his squad depth
“If you look at the bench today, then obviously I would like a bit more quality, a bit more experience – because you always run into moments when a squad needs to have a bit more experience, and not just when they are on the pitch. It’s clear that there are other teams who have more options than we have. But I like working with these lads and I like going up against bigger sides and playing to win.”
On Bryan Cristante
“The team is doing well and Cristante is doing well. It’s difficult to do well as a player when the team isn’t doing so well, and it’s impossible for a player to do well when a team isn’t functioning well. Cristante is the sort of player that I like, to give balance to the side. Today he played a bit deeper, because Salernitana always try to move the ball forward quickly. Even without Simy [starting], they are a team that look to go long quickly and it was important to have Cristante there in front of [Gianluca] Mancini and [Roger] Ibanez.”
On whether coaches like himself can make the difference this season
“The players are more important than we are. I am pleased to be back here and to be running into a new generation of coaches. The ones from my era are here too. I’m waiting for Don Claudio [Ranieri] to be back. Perhaps Antonio [Conte] has different ideas. But we’re back: me, Max [Allegri], [Maurizio] Sarri. It’s great for us and perhaps it is for the next generation too, who have positive ideas about the game. But absolutely it is the players that are more important.”
On his first couple of months with Roma
“When I arrived I was happy: I was coming back to Italy, to a team with proper fans, to a nation that really has a huge passion for the game. The people in Italy have a special bond with their clubs. I needed to come back and feel that once again. I can’t say that I was calm, but I can say that the key word from the Friedkins was ‘time’. And time brings a little more calm. But I don’t want too much calm, I don’t want too much time, because that’s against my nature. If time means we finish seventh or eighth, then I don’t want that. I want to accelerate the process, if it’s possible.”