Montella: Roma issue is a mental block
Roma's new coach Vincenzo Montella has revealed he will focus on the psychological rather than technical and tactical status of the team. The Eternal City giants yesterday appointed their former striker to replace Claudio Ranieri, who resigned following Sunday's 4-3 loss at Genoa.
The outcome marked Roma's third consecutive league defeat and left the club in eighth place, nine points behind fourth-placed Lazio, who occupy the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.
"I think the team's main problem is above all a mental block," said Montella, who was unveiled to the media today. "The players are sensitive and they are carrying inside them this big weight. "They need to free themselves from this burden, and this is the first step we need to take so that they can play to their true potential."
Under Ranieri, Roma finished second in Serie A last season. They made a solid start this term and remain alive in the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.
However, I Giallorossi have suffered a dip in form off late, and their last win dates back to 22 January, when they beat Cagliari 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. Their poor run since then has distanced them away from their aim of a top-four finish this campaign.
"I have spoken to Ranieri," said Montella. "He has given me some advice and I respect him as coach. I have accepted this role with enthusiasm, and I have the great fortune to coach Roma and to train great players.
"This is not a good time but I am counting on the players' will to bounce back. I will talk to some of them. But we are all professional, and all the players have to accept my team selections with calmness and professionalism."
Montella, who at 36 has become the youngest coach in Serie A this season, does not think his lack of experience will be a disadvantage. "This was not my idea but I have accepted this role with calmness," he said.
"My aim is to do well until the end of the season, when my contract expires. I will bring out my best to help the team, but the future does not interest me. I'm just concentrating on the task at hand."
Roma travel to Bologna tomorrow before hosting Parma at the weekend.