Roma‘s Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho said his side’s objective is to reach the last 32 of the Europa League.
The Italian side are facing Ludogrets Razgrad in a crucial game on Thursday night at the Stadio Olimpico.
The coach explained that it is a round in which “there will be teams built to win the Champions League“, referring to Barcelona, who have been eliminated from Europe’s top competition.
Mourinho‘s Roma are needing to beat Ludogorets of Bulgaria to reach the last 32 of the Europa League, where they could meet Barcelona, who finished third in the Champions League ‘Group of Death’ and therefore drop to that stage of Europe’s second-tier competition.
“The ambition of the players is not to win the Conference League again, but to go to the Europa League playoffs, although there will be teams that have been built to win the Champions League,” said the coach.
“We only have one result available, which is victory, as we want to advance in the Europa League. It will be a complicated game, but also for them (Ludogorets), who beat us in the first leg anyway,” he added.
Nicolo Zaniolo was expected to be suspended for the game but he has had his ban reduced by UEFA.
“It seems to me a fair reduction, to me at most it seems to me that it should have been a one-match suspension. Having him is important for us because he can help us win,” he said.
However, the player received a hard tackle last Monday in Serie A and is doubtful.
“I still don’t know if he will be able to play or not,” Mourinho said, “because the bruise was big and the pain was important.
“We’ll see how he feels, I’d like to have him available.”