Garcia: Roma desperate to beat Inter

The Giallorossi coach has urged his side to end their run of draws by showing the sort of intensity that saw them romp to a 4-2 victory in the reverse fixture back in November

Roma coach Rudi Garcia says his side are desperate to avoid a third conductive Serie A draw by beating Inter at San Siro on Saturday.

The Giallorossi had hoped to mount a serious title challenge this season, but 10 draws in their last 14 league outings have left them 15 points behind reigning Italian champions Juventus.

Garcia’s side romped to a 4-2 victory when the two sides met back in November, and the French coach is hoping for a repeat performance as they hope to pull clear of rivals Lazio, with whom Roma currently share second place.

“We showed great intensity in the reverse fixture and we’ll need to show that again,” Garcia told a press conference. 

“We need the attitude we showed [in victories] against Cesena, Napoli and Torino. As always, we’re going there to win, but to achieve that we’ll need to show the intensity we had in the reverse fixture. Definitely.”

Inter, languishing in 10th place and set to miss out on European football next season, are without a win over Roma since February 2011 and have secured just one victory in their last seven Serie A outings.

And Garica is delighted to be able to welcome back Miralem Pjanic and Gervinho, with the Ivory Coast international set to return after a month out through injury.

“I’ve spoken with them and they’ve confirmed what I thought – they’re both at 100 per cent,” Garica said.

“They’re a good side with lots of quality players. With the return of some of our players, we too have grown in strength. I’ll have to make some tough decisions, but that’s better for the team.”

Failure to beat Roma would see Inter go five home games without a win for the first time since March 2012.

Roma need a change of attitude, says Pjanic

The midfielder has told his team-mates to “wake up” as they find themselves locked in a battle to secure a Champions League place

Miralem Pjanic was at a loss to explain another miserable display from Roma as they were beaten 2-1 by Inter in Serie A.

Rudi Garcia’s side have fallen off the pace at the top of the table since the turn of the year, claiming just four wins in 16 games, and could find themselves three behind Lazio if they beat Chievo on Sunday.

Goals from Hernanes and Mauro Icardi were enough for Inter, leaving Pjanic calling for a change of attitude from his team-mates as they fight for a Champions League place.

“We can’t seem to win anymore,” he told Sport Mediaset. “It’s difficult to accept and live through this situation.

“We must try to change tack, as there are six games left and we need to get as many points as possible. We had come here to get three points and left empty-handed. That’s tough to swallow.

“We have to change our attitude during the week as well as during the games. We must have the desire to take Roma back to the top.

“This squad needs to have real fire to get results, the way we did last season and the start of this campaign.

“There are some things we need to change. As I said before, it’s in the attitudes. If we want to get back on top, we cannot accept certain things. 

“We must wake up and give much more to win these games.”

Barcelona wanted me – Pjanic

The midfielder signed a new contract in May last year but revealed he ignored the overtures of the Spanish club

Miralem Pjanic says he was aware of interest from Barcelona prior to committing his future to Roma last summer.

The midfielder signed a new deal until 2018 last May but has revealed he was the subject of an enquiry from the Catalans as he made a decision over his next move.

“I know that the club wanted me when I was negotiating my renewal,” he said in an interview with La Republica.

Pjanic’s decision to stay in Rome led Barca to sign Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla and retain the services of veteran Xavi.

Despite rejecting the Catalans’ advances, the 25-year-old says Luis Enrique – who coached him during his spell in charge at the Stadio Olimpico – has played a key role in his career.

“Him, along with [Roma boss] Rudi Garcia, has taught me the most in football.”

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has been unable to inspire his side to Serie A glory this term, though, as they sit 14 points adrift of leaders Juventus after 28 games.

Pjanic: Dzeko wants Serie A move

The midfielder is hopeful his compatriot will find his way to the Italian capital and has stressed Lazio are practically non-existent in Rome

Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic has claimed that Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has set his sights on a move to Serie A and could join the Stadio Olimpico side at some stage in the future.

Dzeko, who has a contract with City until June 2018, has made just 10 Premier League starts this season and has been linked with a move away from the Premier League champions on more than one occasion.

Pjanic has revealed that he regularly speaks to his fellow Bosnian over his future and has suggested Dzeko could continue his career in the Italian top flight.

“We are friends and he has told me that he would love to play in Serie A,” Pjanic told La Repubblica.

“He is closely following Roma. It would be great if we could one day play together both for the national team and here at Roma.”

The Bosnia-Herzegovina star then went on to discuss the rivalry between Roma and Lazio, with the capital clubs battling it out for second place in Serie A, and he was quick to stress that the Giallorossi are the city’s most beloved side.

“When I joined Roma, [sporting director Walter] Sabatini already told me that the entire city supports us,” Pjanic added. “Eight out of 10 fans support Roma. Lazio are practically non-existent.

“We obviously want to finish ahead of them in the table and we will do just that. We are a great team and we must defend our second place at all costs.”

Roma currently hold a one-point lead over third-placed Lazio in the scrap for automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League group stage.

No contact with Liverpool, says Pjanic

The Roma star has been linked with a big-money summer move to Anfield but insists that now is not the time to be talking about a switch and is fully focused on the Serie A club

Miralem Pjanic has dismissed speculation linking him with a move to Liverpool, insisting he is committed to Roma.

Brendan Rodgers had reportedly indentified the Bosnia international as a target as he prepares for captain Steven Gerrard’s departure to MLS outfit LA Galaxy at the end of the season.

But when asked on potential interest from Liverpool, Pjanic was unaware of any discussions with the Premier League side and underlined his dedication to his current side.

“It’s not time to talk about a transfer, but there has been no contact with Liverpool,” he told reporters. “I am only focused on Roma.”

Pjanic has been in impressive form for Roma as Rudi Garcia’s men look to again challenge Juventus at the top of Serie A, notching three goals and five assists in 21 league outings.