AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho says his side are having a tough time navigating their tight schedule as they compete in the Serie A and Europa League simultaneously.
Mourinho’s side swept aside Udinese 3-0 at Stadio Olimpico to bolster their chances of earning a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Edoardo Bove, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham all got on the scoresheet as Roma moved up to third place in the Serie A standings, three points above AC Milan in fourth.
With every passing matchday, the Giallorossi inch one step closer to realising their ambition of qualifying for Europe’s premium tournament for the first time since 2017/18.
Mourinho’s side also have one eye on going all the way in the Europa League as they look to secure consecutive triumphs on the continental stage, having won the Europa Conference League last season.
Of the Italian teams competing on the European stage, Roma were the only side to come away with a win, with Napoli, Juventus, Milan and Inter Milan all faltering.
“It’s tough – it’s no coincidence,” Mourinho said in his post-match conference (via Calciomercato).
“Other times it was we who didn’t win. Because it’s not just physical, but also mental fatigue.
“I can look at teams with more solutions than us, with more experienced players, such as Inter, Milan, Juventus and Napoli.
“But the tension comes. And from experience, I tell you that when you play in European competitions at a more advanced stage, against a team in your league, from a mental point of view it is more difficult.
“We are all in the quarter-finals – we all see the way to the final. That’s a lot of energy – maybe someone can’t concentrate 100 percent for three or four games in a row.
“This situation of two games a week apart, instead of two weeks as it was before, with a league game in between, is tough.
“And then it’s hard because there are the other teams in Europe that only prepare for that game with a full week.”
Mourinho’s side lost their Europa League quarter-final first-leg match against Eredivisie leaders Feyenoord last week, falling to a slender 1-0 defeat.
With a spot in the semi-final up for grabs, the Giallorossi will fancy their chances of overturning their first-leg deficit when the Dutch side visit Rome for Thursday night’s showdown.
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