Garcia speaks before tomorrow’s friendly against United

Roma manager Rudi Garcia held a press conference today, on the eve of his team’s friendly against Manchester United:

How are De Rossi and Pjanic for tomorrow?
“Here (Denver) it’s a nice training facility, but the grass should be cut a little. De Rossi and Pjanic could play the second half, at maximum a half hour. I do not want to risk it.”

What do you think of (Manchester) United provoking you (on Instagram showing the scoreboard from their 7-1 victory over Roma in the Champions League)?
“It makes no sense. Tomorrow will be a game against a big club and it will be a good challenge for us. It will be the same as what we saw with Liverpool, they’ve started before us and we have to manage ourselves physically. We should have the same attitude we had with Liverpool. What I like is that with Van Gaal, he’s changed the game and it seems that they will play against us in the same way as they did with the Los Angeles. We’ll see if we know how to defend well enough.”

Are you sorry to not have Gervinho for these matches?
“It’s better to have a big squad right now, but it solves the space problems. Gervinho returns to Roma on Sunday, he’ll have a workout program. We must always adapt to the situation, but he cannot wait to train with his teammates.”

After the game against Liverpool, Ljajic you talked to him. Did you assure him of his place on the field? Is there an offer from United for Strootman? Is he for sale?
“No. Kevin will be one of our players this year. None of my players can say that they’ll always play in every match. Adem is important for me, this year there will be room for everyone because there will be almost 60 games. We can’t go on with only 11 players.”

What do you expect from the match tomorrow? Will you use a different line-up?
“The first thing is the physical side, no one will play for more than an hour. We will see many changes, like we did against Liverpool.”

Does the team respond to these preparation matches? When will Strootman be ready?
“Kevin is following a rehabilitation course and I didn’t want him to travel with us, it’s better for him to stay in Boston with the physiotherapists. He’ll start running soon and everything is okay for him. The players are tired, but that’s normal. There will be another session this afternoon, especially for the new guys and understanding the game. We’re not training for these games, but to be ready for the first match of the season.”

A comment on Astori?
“I’ve already talked about him when it wasn’t sure. But now we can say that he’s a Roma player and I’m happy. Technically he’s very good. I like his attitude on the field. He’ll have no problem settling into our roster.”

Strootman wants to stay at Roma? How has Cole been settling?
“Only Kevin can answer that, but I can say he’s never talked about leaving. For me there is no discussion about this. Ashley is an experienced player, he’s been suffering a bit on the physical side, but this is also normal. He’s always played with high intensity and he’s learning Italian well now and talking on the field with his teammates. I like his attitude.”

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.