Schick: ‘Happy at Roma’

Patrik Schick insists he is ‘happy at Roma’ after receiving criticism for an interview he gave.

The Czech forward only joined the Giallorossi from Sampdoria in the summer but was quoted today as saying he is aiming to join ‘an even bigger club.’

It is reported that Stadio Olimpico sporting director Monchi has already spoken to the 21-year-old about the interview, with Coach Eusebio Di Francesco set to follow suit.

However, Schick has taken to social media to pledge his full focus and commitment to his current club.

“I am proud and happy to be here,” he wrote on his official Facebook page. “I have never thought about leaving.

“I am doing everything I can now to get back out on the pitch.

“I have my mind on one thing only – giving my best for Roma. Forza Roma always!”

Schick has made just one appearance for his new club so far this season due to injury.

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Coppa Italia dates released

The dates for the Coppa Italia round of 16 and quarter-finals have been released by the Lega Serie A.

Inter will open the round of 16 fixtures on Tuesday 12 December, when they face the winners of the Cagliari – Pordenone tie.

Holders Juventus are one of the last sides to feature. Max Allegri’s team will play either Genoa or Crotone on 20 December, with Roma facing Torino or Carpi the same evening.

Meanwhile, the four quarter-final ties will all be played over the festive period, between 26 December and 3 January. 

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Martinez: ‘Nainggolan must impress us’

Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez says it is up to Radja Nainggolan to impress on his international recall.

The Roma midfielder is back in his country’s squad after being overlooked for selection by Martinez since March.

Rumours have circulated that his exlusion was down to smoking habits and, speaking at a Press conference, former Wigan and Everton boss Martinez challenged Nainggolan to show his worth both on and off the pitch.

“I will definitely talk to Nainggolan,” the Belgium Coach began.

“Doesn’t he know why I exluded him? Football is a team game, but other than that I expect responses on the pitch.

“He will have to impress us both on and off the pitch.”

Martinez added that he will not be experimenting with Nainggolan in the number 10 role in the upcoming friendlies with Mexico and Japan.

“No, in that role I will try something different.”

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Nianggolan won’t discuss Scudetto

Radja Nianggolan refuses to discuss Roma’s chances of winning the Scudetto, insisting his side must focus.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s team have won nine of their 11 matches so far this season in Serie A.

However, during an interview with Sky Sport, the Belgian midfielder would not be drawn on the Giallorossi’s chances of winning just their third Italian League title.

“I don’t want to talk about the Scudetto,” Nianggolan said. “We are on a good path, we need to stay focused.”

The 29-year-old paid tribute to former Sassuolo boss Di Francesco, who has made a storming start to life at Roma since joining over the summer.

“Di Francesco makes everyone feel important, even those who play less give more because they know their chance will come.

”We are ready and we are showing we are all on the same page. You can see that.”

Nianggolan is back in the Belgium squad for their friendlies with Mexico and Japan after not featuring since March.

“I am happy but now let’s see how it goes. It was a difficult moment, I’m hoping to keep my place.”

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Bucchi: ‘Sassuolo have deep roots’

Cristian Bucchi concedes it has been difficult to replace Eusebio Di Francesco at Sassuolo and “change an approach they’ve had for six years.”

Alessio Romagnoli’s first half header and a Suso curler after the break proved enough to secure Milan’s 2-0 result at the Mapei Stadium.

The Neroverdi remain hovering just above the drop zone with two wins (both away from home), two stalemates and eight defeats.

It’s safe to say where the problems lie, as they have scored only six goals this season, conceding 21.

“Naturally we need to improve, because the results and our position in the table are not suited to a club like Sassuolo,” Bucchi told Mediaset Premium.

“We did some good things, but not enough, and above all we continue to make some really stupid mistakes that you will pay for at this level.

“We aren’t doing the things we practice in training and there seems to be a mental block, this pressure on the squad, despite the club being very reassuring.

“I know that being a Coach means you are always in the balance and that is part of the job. I work daily, then the club will always make its decision.”

Bucchi was brought in this summer after Di Francesco, who famously took Sassuolo to their first ever Serie A campaign all the way into the Europa League, left for Roma.

“When inheriting a team, you must understand their characteristics. Last season this squad was third from bottom in terms of possession, so spent a lot of time making vertical passes and pushing forward.

“Obviously, it’s not easy to change an idea and an approach they’ve had with the same Coach for six years. There were very deep roots and I didn’t want to rip those out, but rather modify it a little with more possession, more passing and to make the most of the characteristics of the forwards at my disposal. It’s not clear yet, but that is the work we are doing.”

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