Garcia’s Pre-Juventus Press Conference

Manager Rudi Garcia spoke today on the eve of his team’s rematch in the Coppa Italia with Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico. Here are his words:

Roma vs. Juventus means something special?
“What does Roma v Juventus mean to me? It’s above all the game that decides who will go into the TIM Cup semi-finals. It’s different to the one we played on January 5. This is a knockout match: only one team will go through and we need to make sure it’s Roma. Tomorrow’s game is not the most important of the season, but of the week. A sold-out Stadio Olimpico will make for an incredible atmosphere: it will be easier for us to play at home, just as it was for them in Turin. Our fans will be up for it, behind the team. We will also play for our supporters.”

Michel Bastos has arrived. He can help?
“Bastos? Him joining the club can help us. If we improve we hope to be able to record the same results as the first half of the season, or perhaps even better. We’re a stronger team with him and Nainggolan and the roster is deeper: we’ve got a lot of options, in attack also. Michel also offers us something different at left-back. He needs to improve his fitness levels, but he’s healthy: he can train and has no problems with his arm.”

Pleased with your league position?
“We beat Livorno, making up two points on Napoli and three on Inter. As for Juve, well, there’s still a long way to go. Plus, they have to come back to the Olimpico towards the end of the season. It’s not a league match tomorrow, it’s the Coppa Italia: we just need to do one thing, advance.”

Will you rotate the squad tomorrow?
“Will the possibility of extra time have an impact on my team selection? I don’t think about things like that: for me the third game is always the hardest to manage. We then have five days before we play Verona so my guys won’t have any problem playing the whole game against Juve because it’s as if there’s a whole week between matches two and three.”

A sale must happen now in the market?
“People are saying Pjanic might leave at the end of the season? As I’ve already said many times, Nainggolan has come in and we’ve gotten better. We need to work to get to where we want to be at the end of the season. Five midfielders won’t be too many next season if we’re playing in Europe. Rajda signing doesn’t mean that Miralem will leave. It’s too early to talk about next season’s roster.”

Renewed motivation since the loss in Turin?
“Did the defeat at Juventus make us motivated again? No, we don’t need to talk about that game because it’s gone. It’s what happens on the field that counts. It was important to win following our loss to the Bianconeri, just as it was vital we got three points in the two consecutive home matches after that. I have no doubts as to the desire of my players and my team. My guys have given their all in every game this season.”

Your team for tomorrow?
“How will Roma play tomorrow? We’ll play in a way to reach the semi-finals. Only Conte knows what side he will pick, and I’m the only one who knows what team I’ll select.”

What must be different than the first encounter?
“What more do we need compared to the league match? We need to be better on set-pieces, because we conceded three goals from dead ball situations against the Bianconeri. We also need to improve offensively. We can do everything: build attacking moves, play on the break, see out a game, but if we want to make the last four we need to put in a great performance: we always play better when we approach the game with enthusiasm.”

Juventus has many weapons…
“We mustn’t only think about keeping an eye on Pirlo tomorrow, because Juve have lots of great players and they are a threat in every area. But the same goes for them because we can hurt them all over the field. We’ve had 13 different players on the score sheet since the start of the season. Pirlo is obviously a world-class player and so clearly it’s better for us if he doesn’t play well. But we need to always play our game and be more efficient and clinical. I hope we kept back a few goals on Saturday for tomorrow night’s match…”


The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.