Published on: 14 September 2022

Jose Mourinho faced the media on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of Roma's Europa League group stage match against HJK Helsinki. The game at the Stadio Olimpico gets underway at 21:00 CEST on Thursday.

Here's what the boss had to say ahead of the contest...

Can you explain the importance of the summer friendly against Tottenham in your mind, as it is a game you talked about in your last interview?

“I consider that one to have been an important game for us because Tottenham are certainly the best team we have played against this season. It may have been a friendly, but it was against a really good side. We faced a really dangerous team, without really having a lot of problems defensively. We defended like a team. You guys always want to focus on one player or another, putting responsibility on them, but for us we look at things a bit differently.

“For us, even with all the issues that come with playing against a really good side, we were in control of the situation for 90 minutes. The attitude was really, really strong. That’s why I think it was an important game. Because I haven’t seen that same attitude for a full 90 minutes in any of the other games we’ve played.”

What do you think about Helsinki? Is there something about them you are particularly focused on?

“The Helsinki coach has definitely caught my eye. If a side plays with the sort of organisation and identity that they do, it means that the coach is a good one. I like the team. Of course we have done our analysis of the game, the homework. I haven’t looked at anything else since the game against Empoli came to an end. They are a well-organised side, who are also good to watch in different ways with the way they like to build the play.

“The result [a defeat] against Real Betis was misleading; it could easily have gone very differently. For me it’s all confirmation of the quality of Scandinavian football these days. Teams are well-organised, the fitness and physicality is always there, and the quality on the ball has continued to improve. It won’t be an easy game by any means, whereas you guys think it might be.”

(Photo LaPresse)