Roma Coach Mourinho: ‘The Derby Without the Fans Is Not a Derby’

By Apollo Heyes -

Jose Mourinho was not interested in Zdeněk Zeman’s opinion of the Derby della Capitale and he was fired up for an exciting game.

The Giallorossi currently sit one point behind the Biancocelesti in the league table and are tied on points with Atalanta, so a victory in the derby today is key if the team want to stay involved the race for European qualification.

Speaking in a press conference (via LazioNews24) yesterday, Mourinho first discussed the state of his squad heading into the derby against Lazio.

All recovered, only Spinazzola is out. Everyone is playing. As far as emotions are concerned, it’s a derby. It’s never a match like any other.

All my life with derbies, the first one was in Lisbon and the last one tomorrow. We’re already used to it.

The Roma coach looked ahead to the atmosphere in the Stadio Olimpico during the derby against Lazio.

The atmosphere will be nicer. We played behind closed doors and it wasn’t the fans’ derby. Now it’s almost back to normal, where it’s confusing who’s playing at home and who’s playing away.

It will be nicer, the derby without the fans is not a derby.

Mourinho did not want to discuss the nature of Pedro’s departure last summer.

I don’t want to tell the story, Tiago Pinto has to think about it. If he scored nine goals with Lazio, great for him, great for Lazio.

He was not impressed with Zeman’s thoughts about his team and the derby.

A coach with 25 titles doesn’t have to answer to a coach with two Serie Bs.

Mourinho discussed Roma’s endurance and their growth over this season.

It’s always important, not just tomorrow. When I say knowing how to resist I’m referring to the last five games.

Against Atalanta and against Vitesse, against Udinese and Sassuolo, all these games you have to have the strength to hold on, if you lose you have to have the strength to look for a positive result.

If we want to go back to the first match against Lazio, we fought until the very end. Our team always fights, even against Juve. Until the end the team is always there.

He touched on the passion surrounding the Derby della Capitale.

For me it’s every derby. When I play I do it thinking of those who historically experience it as fans. I played Benfica-Sporting and Benfica-Porto as a different coach.

It wasn’t different, a derby is a derby. You have to put yourself in the perspective of the others, the fans.

Finally, Mourinho discussed his arrival at Roma and the impact that it had on him.

When I arrived, usually when a person arrives at a club the respect is earned with time. In this case with Roma the affection was there immediately, before the first training session.

These people have a special heart.

Tags AS Roma Biancocelesti Derby Derby Della Capitale giallorossi Italy Jose Mourinho Lazio Lazio vs Roma Maurizio Sarri Mourinho Roma Roma vs Lazio Rome Sarri Serie A