Garcia’s Pre-Derby Press Conference

Rudi Garcia spoke today on the eve of the Derby; the Frenchman had some harsh words to say when asked about Lazio manager Edy Reja.

What has changed from the first match?
“The most important thing is that we play with a team that plays with 5 behind, this does not change anything for us. We must find solutions to problems the opponent poses, as we always do, not only in this match. We must pay attention to some strengths and some strong players but it is always the case, not only in this match.”

You are obliged to win. Pressure?
“No, it’s a good pressure, I prefer to be seconds, winning the game just to get three points. Its the same thing every league game.”

When you arrived you said, “You don’t play a derby, you win it.” Still convinced of this?
“What is beautiful in football is that we do not know what will happen before, I do not think the result changes anything to the current date or the first leg. We want to win, we’re on an interesting streak, the team really wants to go farther, it is just that. This desire is that we give everything on the pitch. Fortunately, it will be only the second game in two weeks, we’ll be fine on the physical level. The only thing that counts is if we win. If we play our game, then we’re better, but what matters are the three points.”

Do you like that Roma is favored?
“That’s the game of the people and the press, the rankings say that we are second and normally you have to win, but they’re a good opponent, it will be a tough game. We have the quality and we have to put them all on the field, and I say it again: I have confidence in this team and that they can do everything. They know how to play within the manner of their opponents when they’re on the pitch, they can play on the counterattack and with high pressure, we have all the keys.”

The Derby is very important…
“The derby is felt more by the fans and the players, it depends. We have three Roman: Totti, De Rossi and Florenzi. For them, it is perhaps a bit more, but we must be above these things, it is not only a derby, it is also a league game. For the fans it is important to give everything to win.”

Do you feel superior to Lazio?
“The ranking says this and the season reflect this. What matters is to qualify for the Champions League and Europe, we must not forget that. To move forward we need to win and get points, so I see this as another game for the season. We have to make sure we win. It will be a signal to others that we want to move forward and that is difficult to play against Roma.”

The Derby is important for the table. Would you sign up for the Italian Cup and second place?
“This contract does not exist, I do not get to choose. I want to win on Sunday and after that there will be time to think about Napoli, but for now, I’m all focused on the championship.”

Reja said he would sign up for a draw…
“Is he the one that he said he would like for a Roma player to get injured? We are also educators, not just coaches. If a coach says this thing publicly, what can be said in the locker room? Breaking a leg? How about killing someone? I want the referee to be attentive to the tackles, I do not want my players injured. And I want the fans to support their team and nothing more, and that all is well in the stands. We play to win, the opposing coach is responsible for what he says. We play to win.”

How is Pjanic?
“Much better, he’s been improving a lot. Now he is closer to 100% than before. We have two matches in this week, also.”

Do you begin to feel the derby as a personal challenge?
“No, it is important to win every game. So it is like any other one. The result is different, there are three points. It’s something for the fans, I want my team to play as normal, with ambition and enthusiasm, this will be important.”

What do you have to do now after putting the church back into the village?

“Nothing, you have to look at the standings to see that this thing is real.”

Totti and Maicon. Are they ready?
“They are ready to play. There have been four days of rest, Maicon will have no problems.”

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.