Garcia’s pre-Sassuolo press conference

Rudi Garcia spoke ahead of tomorrow’s match against Sassuolo:

Sassuolo has collected positive results. Their team is a revelation like Empoli?
You obviously have these two teams that are better than expected. The Sassuolo better than the previous one, this is not the Sassuolo from last season, they have 15 points from seven games and are unbeaten in seven games. It’s a team that plays with the ball, has a strong attack. It’s a difficult match.

A word on De Sanctis’ renewal?
I am very happy, Morgan has played with us for a year and a half, not only is he a strong goalkeeper but also a good guy and is important to the group.

Can Strootman play from the first minute?
Kevin is ready, he’s come on in two matches. When someone is out for nine months, you can’t expect them to be at 100% quickly. You have to get on the field, play, and train. Kevin is one of the strongest we have, he’s a very important player. All of Europe wants him, there’s no doubting the quality of the player. Slowly he’s regaining his confidence and conditioning. Tomorrow is a chance for him, but one of many. Him starting? You’ll see tomorrow when you get the team sheet.

How’s Maicon?
He’s fine, he’s fine: he can play two games in a row.

You’ve been chasing Juve for a year and a half now: could this be stressful?
No, not at all. The players showed this last week. This league is a marathon, we must be prepared for every match this season so that you can get good results.

Iturbe has scored less because he has played less: is the weight of the club weighing on him?
He’s fine, he’s calm. For me, it’s (about) finding his speed and his explosiveness. For his game, those are vital. He’s also very positive, I’m sure he will turn out well: he always gives everything on the field and fights. He may do something wrong but he immediately goes to work for the team. He has to take risks as Gervinho does with dribbling and pressing guys.

What about Florenzi’s renewal?
For me, I can only say that there aren’t any problems. He is a very important player for me and for the team. He is doing very well in an offensive role that’s he been at from the start. He’s a valuable player for a coach. He’s a treasure for a coach, he can have a career like the other Romans who are with us: De Rossi and Totti, playing his entire career in Rome. This will mean that the Roma are always at the height of his ambitions, he wants to play in a team that wins titles and that’s what we’re here for.

With the renewal of De Sanctis, could Skorupski go on loan?
I’m happy with these two goalkeepers: we don’t need anybody else.

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.