Garcia’s pre-Udinese press conference

Here are the words of Rudi Garcia ahead of tomorrow’s match against Udinese:

How are Mapou, Totti, and Destro?
First of all, happy new year to all of you. They are all back as of yesterday, they are 100%, it will be possible for them to give us a hand for the three points (against Udinese), which is our goal. Udine is a difficult place, but we have shown that if we play as we usually do – we can win, it’s a match that is the most important because it is the next one.

You will be missing Gervinho…
We knew this from the beginning of the season, I’m lucky to have a big squad both in the midfield and attack. It will be a chance for others to show their skills. The work and the quality won’t diminish.

The longer he works the more he improves, he has also worked a lot on the mental side of things. He’s been ready to play for a while, but in our more recent workouts he seems closer to 100%.

What about Iturbe?
He has characteristics that are closer to Gervinho, but I also have other solutions and this is the most important thing. I still have choices to make in attack because the last two matches we’ve made very little, we have been too ineffective and we must improve on this by tomorrow at 12.

Are Iturbe and Strootman almost like January purchases?
Kevin definitely, we knew that he would need time to get back to 100%, just like Destro last year. Fortunately we played fewer league games. Manuel took some time to settle, but I have faith in him because I see that he gives everything in training. This is an important quality to have in order to do well.

What department needs to be shored up?
I am delighted that Florenzi has renewed, he can play everywhere, even as a goalkeeper, but he will give us a big hand. He’s the future of Roma, a Roman symbol along with Totti and De Rossi, maybe one day I’ll try to play with only him against eleven.

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.