Mourinho: “I Will Continue to Say We Didn’t Lose the Budapest Final”

Roma start their UEFA Europa League journey tonight when they face Sheriff Tiraspol at the Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena. Jose Mourinho is anticipating a tough encounter in Tiraspol in what will be a first-ever competitive meeting with Sheriff, having never faced a Moldovan side in any European tournament.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference in Moldova (via Calciomercato), Mourinho previewed his side’s opener in the Europa League.

“We have respect for all our opponents. We lost 6-1 a match that should have been won two years ago. We lost last year in the first of the group against Ludogorets. It’s never easy to play away in Europe. We play against the opponent, the public and a special motivation for a team whose objective is to qualify. We are also playing against a history because incredible things have been done by Sheriff in the Champions League. It is not an easy match. We will fiedl a strong team that reason.”

Roma fell to Sevilla in the previous season’s final, and Mourinho is not yet ready to swallow the defeat.

“It’s a different season and a different competition from the last one. I will continue to say until the last day of my career and even after that we didn’t lose the final in Budapest. I will continue to say this every time we talk about it. However, It’s a new competition, we’re starting from scratch. The objective is to qualify for the next phase. It would be important to win the group.”

Mourinho will sit out of the game though, in light of his four-match suspension after the UEL final defeat, where he expressed his displeasure at Anthony Taylor’s decisions during the game.

“Obviously, it’s a problem because I can’t communicate with the team. But the solution was today’s training, because I was able to have my say. I’ll be sitting where Sheriff reserves me a place. I’m not worried because I’ll feel good anywhere. My staff knows how I think and how I think, I have faith in my team and this will lead to success.”

While Sheriff have failed to progress from each of their previous five UEL group stage campaigns, the Giallorossi have turned the tables in stark contrast from all five previous attempts in the competition, one of which came under Mourinho last season.

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