Roma bosses back Spalletti
AS Roma management have dismissed speculation that under-fire coach Luciano Spalletti's job is under threat.
The capital-based club fell to a 2-0 defeat at Juventus on Saturday and have lost six of their first nine Serie A matches, including the last four. They are one place and one point above the relegation zone but if Sunday's results go against them they could find themselves in the drop zone by the end of the day.
However, the Roma hierarchy are standing by the man who guided Roma to second place finishes in each of the last three seasons.
"Spalletti is not in discussion. That's the fact of the matter and that's the result we've arrived at for now," said technical director Bruno Conti. "But we are united and I always repeat to our lads that we can't forget what we've done over the last three years.
"We need to talk less and concentrate on events," added Conti, a former Italy international. "Hence the retreat continues because on Tuesday we have a huge match in the Champions League at home to Chelsea and we can win if we remain united."
Roma have been in a type of retreat since a 3-1 defeat at Udinese a week ago, with players staying together in a hotel and away from distractions rather than going home. Meanwhile sports director Daniele Prade said it was unimaginable to think that Roma could end up battling for their Serie A status this season.
"The relegation zone? It's true that when you see the situation we're in you have to think about what we're going through but we can't think that this is a team that will fight for survival," he said. "This is a team that has played the most beautiful football in Europe, at the end of May we were champions of Italy for 60 minutes."
On the last day of the last campaign Roma trailed Inter by one point, meaning a win for them and anything less for their rivals would have given them the title.
Roma scored first and for a period were leading while Inter were locked in a stalemate, meaning in real time they were the de facto champions. However, the capital side conceded an equaliser and Inter went on to win, claiming the title by three points.