Roma will be looking to kick-start their season when they take on Champions League debutants CFR in the Italian capital tonight.
The Serie A outfit have collected just one point from two games amid a mini injury crisis that has seen them lose Simone Perrotta with an achilles problem and defender Juan with a groin injury. There is hope that Daniele De Rossi, Philippe Mexes and forwards Mirko Vucinic and captain Francesco Totti could play some part.
Coach Luciano Spalletti admitted: “We are not in the best shape but when we think about the last three years, we have been through worse. We have made some mistakes but we must stay calm and the lads must show their potential, which is huge. I am not making excuses – I have full confidence in the players I have available.”
Spaletei is not underestimating the Romanian opposition.
“I know Cluj well enough,” Spalletti said. “I have watched two of their games on DVD and sent an assistant to watch their last match. They have a lot of top-quality South Americans and their morale is high because they won the title last season. They have moved up several levels in recent years.”
CFR’s indifferent Liga 1 form led to the replacement earlier this month of coach Ioan Andone with his Italian assistant Maurizio Trombetta.
“I am very grateful to my predecessor and to the players for getting us into the Champons League, and I will try to make the best of this opportunity,” said Trombetta. “We are not bothered about which players are out for Roma, as we will try to do our best and go there with our heads up.”
“I have been in charge for only one game but we won, so the spirit is great. We are honoured to be here, but we are not here to see the Vatican or to get Totti’s autograph – we are here to do our best.”
“I know Roma as I have been here as an assistant coach, and I am certain Roma won’t make the same mistakes they made against Palermo. They are not that sort of team.”