Ranieri: ‘I’d only do this for Roma’

Claudio Ranieri “would not have done this for any other club” after taking the Roma caretaker job. “We fans want players to prove they’re worthy.”

This is his second stint on the bench after a decade away, having returned as a caretaker manager following Eusebio Di Francesco’s dismissal.

“I continue doing this profession because it gives me strong emotions and my return to Roma is something special, especially for us Roman fans,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“We are aware it’s a difficult moment for the club, but I am ready and I’m here to do battle. Motivation is the most important thing right now, as I can see the Champions League is so close, but I can’t do it on my own. It’ll be very important for the fans to be close to these lads, especially in the first couple of games, as with them behind us, anything can happen.

“I ask the fans for help and that includes me, seeing as I am a Romanista! I’ve never been one to prepare speeches, I am very instinctive.

“We want to see the team tear up the turf, players who have determination and grit bursting out of them, that is what we fans want. We accept errors, but first we have to see players willing to give their lives on the pitch.”

Eusebio Di Francesco focused on the 4-3-3 formation, but also had the 4-2-3-1, so what approach will Ranieri take?

“Alessandro Florenzi is a universal player, he can be a full-back or further forward. As he too is a Roman, I know what he’s feeling right now, as every single error weighs more heavily on your shoulders compared to another teammate.

“I realise there is this puzzle of trying to get Nicolò Zaniolo, Patrik Schick, Edin Dzeko and the rest playing together. I believe Zaniolo belongs in a more central role and see a lot more of the ball.

“I think Schick and Dzeko need to play together. I saw Schick when he came off the bench against Porto with determination and effort, while he has remarkable quality, pace and technique. I am convinced that once he breaks through his block, and he is close to doing that, the fans will fall in love with this lad.

“I tell every player that we are in this situation because not everything has been given. Eusebio paid the price, but now the players have to give a response on the field. I will help them, but they have to help themselves and each other, like a real team.

“These aren’t children, they are grown men and must give their all. There are no more excuses. They know how to play football. If they were signed by Roma and earn what they earn, then they have to prove that they are worthy of Roma. Anyone who has problems can leave them at home.”

Ranieri has only signed on for the final 12 rounds of the season, but did not ask for a longer contract.

“I am accustomed to taking it one step at a time. I would not have done this for another club, but I accepted because it is Roma. If Roma call, I have to say yes. I didn’t even discuss the salary, as I came here for the jersey, not the money.

“I haven’t spoken to Eusebio. I understand what it feels like to be fired, but I promise you that I cheered him on like crazy since he first arrived. He’s a great man and a hard worker.

“Everyone makes mistakes, no Coach is perfect.”

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