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Monday, November 3, 2008
Roma boss has no fears over visit of Chelsea

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti claims he is feeling "no fear'' ahead of tomorrow's crucial Champions League encounter with Chelsea.

Spalletti's team sit just one point clear of the relegation zone in Serie A and lie third in Champions League Group A after three games, three points behind leaders Chelsea and a point off surprise package CFR Cluj.

Roma were beaten 2-0 by Juventus on Saturday - their sixth loss in nine league games this season - and now sit fourth from bottom of the Italian league.

The storm clouds are gathering above the beleaguered Spalletti who insists he has the strength to turn the dismal situation around.

"To transmit fear to my team would be the worst thing I could do,'' he said. "I have no fear. We need to do a good job in terms of psychology.

"It's more difficult to come out of a crisis because every minor problem becomes blown up. But we are professionals and we must come out of this situation together.''

It was only two weeks ago that Roma travelled to Stamford Bridge and showed signs of recovery when losing 1-0 to a John Terry goal.

Since then, however, the rot has set back in, and Spalletti knows the Blues will be formidable opponents even away from their London home.

"Against Chelsea we had a compact team,'' Spalletti continued. "Chelsea scored because of Terry's ability [at set-pieces]. But we played the football we need to play. I think we had less shots on goal than they did but Chelsea didn't take many because we stopped them.''

Spalletti claims the game at the Stadio Olimpico would not be important only for Roma's European aspirations, but for their season as a whole.

"Tomorrow's game is the most important one because it is our next game,'' he said. "That result is going to affect our mood in view of our next league games against Bologna and Lazio.''

Spalletti has yet to decide whether to risk captain Francesco Totti against Chelsea.

Totti limped out of training on Friday with a recurring knee injury and did not play against Juve at the weekend.

"We have to evaluate Totti's condition,'' Spalletti said. "We feel it's important to have Totti available. But it's equally important that the responsibility is the same for everyone whether Totti plays or not.''

Roma will be without injured duo Alberto Aquilani and Vincenzo Montella.




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