Mourinho feels Zaniolo ‘lacks the confidence to score goals’

Genoa Roma

Jose Mourinho did not shy away from Roma’s issues closing out matches following their tense 1-0 win over Cagliari.

The Giallorossi bounced back from their painful 4-3 comeback loss to Juventus last week with an important home win over Cagliari. It was an evening to smile for the Roma fans, even if the second half showed the team’s issues closing out matches, and the dying minutes were hair raising as well.

Speaking to DAZN after the game, Mourinho first laughed when asked why Roma can’t close out games early. “Great question, I don’t have an answer!” He smiled.

He then commented on the importance of the win over the Sardinian side and what he was expecting from the match.

“It’s a super important win, but it’s a game for peace of mind and to score early in the second half. We totally controlled it. It’s a game that could have ended 1-1, Rui Patricio made a great save on Joao Pedro. But it’s completely out of the context of the game, which is our domain.

“We were in control, but in the end it’s the result that counts, it’s 1-0, it could have been 4 or 5-0. That’s why I always felt the pressure. When you play so well the coach doesn’t usually feel pressure, I felt it right up to the end.”

The former Porto and Inter coach touched on the performances of Marash Kumbulla and Gianluca Mancini.

“For me, as a coach, Kumbulla was the best of the team. He played a fantastic game. It gives me great satisfaction because in a certain moment of the season he had difficulties, I was very negative in the aggressiveness I used to put in the confrontation in training and he has always been very calm, humble and has grown.

“I think he’s a player who’s better suited to a 3-man defence, where he’s learnt. He had a good game, Mancini too. The coverage of the two midfield players was also good. Against Juve, when Dybala scored, we didn’t make the right moves. We’ve worked on that and Oliveira and Veretout did very well today.”

Mourinho discussed the team’s issues in failing to close out games.

“Yesterday I finished training with a Felix, Abraham, Zaniolo, Pellegrini drill against the goalkeeper just to try to give them confidence, to train the right choice against goalkeepers. They scored goals and made mistakes. It’s hard to ask more of Felix.

“I ask him for the most basic things, I can’t ask him for calmness in front of the goal. Tammy in my opinion is a player who suffers, not able to hide his frustration. Nicolò lacks the confidence to score goals. In the first half on that chance he had to shoot quicker. I hope we’ll score lots of goals in a few games because we have chances. I’ve seen that we create a lot.”

He gave his thoughts on the squad’s mentality and if its strengths will be seen in the upcoming games.

“We had Cagliari and we struggled. It was important to win, the result didn’t matter. The players sacrificed themselves and played to the end. The upcoming opponents are in the bottom half of the table, but I remember the games we lost against Bologna and Venezia, we dropped two points to Sampdoria.

“It’s not a given that we win these games, but the boys needed a win. Today it came and it’s very important for us.”

The Portuguese coach spoke about new signing Sergio Oliveira and his impact on the game.

“To tell you the truth, we need more Sergio Oliveiras, players with performance, experience, who knows what to do at certain times of the game. I have said it before, he is not what you call in Italy a ‘regista’, he is not Pirlo, Pianic, but he is a player that our team needs.

“Maitland-Niles gives us options, today Karsdorp went to the bench without training. If we didn’t have Maitland-Niles, the team would be in real trouble. That’s why we did our market with these two guys who, at the very least, can improve the options.”

One Comment on “Mourinho feels Zaniolo ‘lacks the confidence to score goals’”

  1. I don’t always like Mou’s style but I believe he’s correct regarding Zaniolo.

    Perhaps the 2 full years lost to injuries has hampered his development, his confidence, or his willingness to get involved more for fear of getting re-injured. This is what I fear for Chiesa when he returns next year. Zaniolo should have scored on his chance.

Leave a Reply