Sarri hits back at Mourinho: ‘If Roma finish second…’

Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri hits back at José Mourinho, saying that seeing Roma finish second would be disappointing.

The Special One said that Lazio spent €39m this summer, so they should be considered title favourites, unlikely Roma, who only spent €7m to reinforce the team.

“We haven’t spent money, we have invested in young players,” replied Sarri during his pre-match press conference.

“They [Roma] have spent money. I thank José for his trust. I hope to satisfy him, and I can say that Roma finishing second would be disappointing.”

The Biancocelesti begin their season at home against Bologna tomorrow.

“The first game of the season is always difficult,” said Sarri.

“It’s not automatic to switch to the right mood for competitive matches, and the opponents have always caused trouble for us. Hopefully, we’ll be at an acceptable level.

“The season is even crazier than expected. It’s hard to play at 18.30 [17.30 in the UK]. After the lockdown, we used to play at 20.45. You can’t play games at 18.30 in August in Italy; we are doing everything to avoid selling the product.

“We have rejuvenated the team; we want to be competitive like in the previous cycle. Nobody knows our potential. We surely have it, but we must become a real team. If we create this mentality, we could do something meaningful.

“We have done something logical because we can’t afford top players, so we must find an alternative path,” he continued.

“The pitch will say if we’ve done well, but the club has taken a logical direction to guarantee a future to the team and solidity.”

What does he make of his midfield stars Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic? How are they training?

Luis Alberto didn’t feel well. For real. There was a medical report. The first of the pre-season was quite tricky, he had said that he wanted to return to Spain, and the club was open to the idea.

“I think it affected him, but he’s been feeling better in the last three or four days. I see his involvement.

“Milinkovic-Savic makes me feel calm. Due to his physical structure, he takes longer to get in shape. We’ll help him in the first part of the season; then he’ll be the one helping us.”

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