First Knockout round – 2nd leg (First leg: Roma 2-1 Real Madrid)
Bernd Schuster admits he is desperate to keep Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League campaign going, as his side attempt to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Roma on Wednesday.
“I’m enjoying it so much and I want to enjoy it even more,” the Real coach said. “I’ll be disappointed not to go through.”
Schuster is not planning any significant changes to his approach for the visit of Roma, claiming his side were unlucky to lose a fortnight ago.
“I think the recipe will be the same,” Schuster added. “We were short in terms of our finishing and lost by the smallest of margins. We need good movement of the ball and for every player to know his position. In the first leg we saw a great match and I hope Wednesday will be the same.”
Ruud van Nistelrooy has failed to overcome an ankle injury and Sergio Ramos is suspended. Meanwhile, Christoph Metzelder’s foot problem, Wesley Sneijder’s broken rib and Javier Saviola’s injured ankle keep them out.
“When one player isn’t available, another one is,” their coach said. “It’s true I would have liked to have been able to count on Sergio Ramos for a game like this, but it’s not to be. I will have all the confidence in the world in the team I put out against Roma.”
Schuster is boosted by the return of of Guti, as well as Pepe and Robinho – who sat out the first leg. However, Schuster says it would be a mistake to rely too much on flashes of Robinho’s individual brilliance.
“I don’t think a great display from Robinho is going to be enough,” he said. “The team will have to function perfectly. The side who make the fewer mistakes are going to qualify for the next round. Robinho, along with everyone else, will have to be at their best.”
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti, meanwhile, just wants his players to relax with the quarter-finals in sight.
“We’re fully focused and know that Wednesday’s match will be played against one of the biggest teams in the world,” he said. “When it comes to tense situations, we’re actually very calm. Nerves only bring bad vibes which is something we suffered from when we lost to Juventus recently.”
Roma travel to Madrid without defender Marco Cassetti who has a dislocated shoulder. However, Juan has overcome a foot injury while Philippe Mexes and Simone Perrotta are back in the squad having missed the 4-0 weekend defeat of Parma.
“Playing well can bring out the best in our players and unity is what will be important,” Spalletti added. “I hope we will play at our best and, if we’re going to make mistakes, I hope they will be minor ones.”