Ranieri warns Roma over Bayern euphoria
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri has warned his players not to get carried away after Tuesday's come-from-behind 3-2 defeat of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League. Bayern led 2-0 at half time in the Stadio Olimpico but Roma mounted a stirring second half fightback to snatch the three points and take them to the brink of qualification for the competition's knockout phase.
Roma have a chance to close their seven-point deficit to leaders AC Milan away to Palermo in Sicily on Sunday and Ranieri warned his players against letting their midweek feat, and their generally improving form, go to their heads.
"After the Bayern game there is a great and legitimate euphoria but that can be in two forms," he said. "The positive form which makes you feel good and the negative form which gives you a big head. Against Palermo we'll see which one it is."
Ranieri believes a tough test awaits them against the talented Sicilians, who have been a little disappointing in the league so far this season.
"Palermo have a competitive squad and a great and enthusiastic public. We need to be strong mentally and to show strong character. I expect Palermo to play very well... with three up front who make a difference."
The task will be made harder by Roma's relative lack of success on their travels this season, winning only once in the league -- away to Lazio but on their own Stadio Olimpico ground that they share with their city rivals. The only other ground they have won at this season is Basel's St Jakob-Park in the Champions League.
"It's true that our only away win was in the derby, hence still at the Olimpico, but I don't see this as a problem, we won at Basel," added Ranieri. "The team is concentrated and determined, these things happen, there's nothing to cry about."
Ranieri is also looking forward to a midfield battle between the two teams' influential young playmakers, Roma's Frenchman Jeremy Menez and Palermo's Argentine Javier Pastore.
"Pastore goes more for goal but Menez is working hard. They're two players who are great to watch, they create fantasy and emotion amongst the fans. We'll hear a lot more about them," he said.
Roma are fifth in Serie A, seven points off leaders AC Milan while Palermo are two points and two places further back.