Jose Mourinho hails Leicester’s trophy record and issues rallying cry to Roma fans | Soccer News

Jose Mourinho hailed Leicester’s recent trophy as “incredible” and urged Roma fans to help knock the Foxes out of the Europa Conference League semi-finals, saying: “Don’t come watch the game, come play .”

Mourinho’s Roma are locked in a 1-1 draw with Rodgers’ Foxes after the first leg at the King Power Stadium, meaning Thursday night’s second leg at the Stadio Olimpico is a winner-takes-all battle.

Leicester are hoping to add the Europa Conference League to the FA Cup and Community Shield trophies won in 2021, as well as the 2016 Premier League title, and Mourinho was full of compliments for the Foxes and their manager.

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Roma head coach Jose Mourinho has made a cheeky reference to his sacking as Tottenham manager days before the Carabao Cup final during his press conference ahead of their Champions League semi-final. Europa conference against Leicester.

“What Leicester are doing is fantastic,” Mourinho said during his press conference. “Of course what they did in winning the Premier League [in 2016] It’s unbelievable but after the way the club is growing at all levels, coming to now with one of the best training centers in Europe, the club is incredible.

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Roma manager Jose Mourinho jokes he will keep the gift he received for Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers after the Northern Irishman said he would be happy with a simple Cup of tea.

“Brendan doesn’t surprise me. With Liverpool people forget what he did with a lot less resources than what Liverpool have now. He did amazingly. And then Scottish history [in his time at Celtic]people forget because people don’t focus on Scottish titles.

Brendan Rodgers helped Leicester win the FA Cup last season
Brendan Rodgers helped Leicester win the FA Cup last season

“Then winning the FA Cup with Leicester, even the Community Shield, the stability in the club and the way they played, it’s a perfect achievement with Leciester and Brendan. Very very good. But hopefully tomorrow will be for us and not for them.

Mourinho then issued a rallying cry to Roma supporters, with Giallorossi supporters ready to sell their 70,000 seater stadium.

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Roma head coach Jose Mourinho says the club deserve to fulfill their dream of reaching the Europa Conference League final.

“Obviously we want to play for us but I would like to play the game with them [the fans]”, added the Portuguese coach. “You can go to the ground as supporters and play the game.

“There are 70,000 fans who want to play. That’s what I’m asking: don’t come to the game to watch, come and play.”

Mourinho wants Roma fans to give their best for the team on Thursday
Mourinho wants Roma fans to give their best for the team on Thursday

Rodgers: Time for Leicester to write another chapter

In the Leicester camp, manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his players to add another trophy to their collection and continue their fairy tale story.

“It’s our biggest game of the season,” Rodgers said. “It’s another step forward for us in maturing the team. We will take advantage of the experience, we have shown that we can do the job. You have to accept that.

“That’s what we tried to create here, a winning mentality, and for some players they have to adapt to that. It takes time and those are experiences you want players to learn from.

“It’s something they crave and we all crave to succeed. It’s another chapter of history. Our main goal is to continue the history of this club, like we did in the FA Cup.

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Brendan Rodgers says Leicester City are enjoying success across multiple sports – and he hopes to continue that trend in the Europa Conference League.

“We wanted to be the winners for the first time and we wanted that to be a goal in this competition as well. It’s another chapter to write in our own history.”

Meanwhile, Foxes captain Kasper Schmeichel – who won the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield with the Foxes – wants to add to his collection by leading them to the Stadio Olimpico.

“It’s a European trophy, everyone is important, every competition you can win is important,” he said. “I don’t play football to finish fourth, fifth or sixth. You do it for the occasions, in any competition.

Kasper Schmeichel and Brendan Rodgers gave their reaction after the game
Leicester captain Kasper Schmeichel and manager Brendan Rodgers

“It’s about winning trophies. It’s what fans and players look back on, those times when you have to lift trophies.

“The infrastructure of the club is in place to succeed. If we were to reach the final, it is a lasting success over a period of time in terms of finals reached and trophies won.”

To Schmeichel’s comments that winning a trophy is better than fourth place, Mourinho replied: “To be honest, being champions with Leicester means more than three titles with Chelsea or with Liverpool or with Manchester United. He should be happy that he won this very special title.

“Jokes aside, of course he wants to win. Especially because it’s the only way to help Leicester reach European competition next season.”

Leicester squad news

James Maddison and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall are set for Leicester’s Europa League semi-final second leg second leg at Roma.

The pair missed Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Tottenham but will travel to Italy with the team after shaking off hip and calf injuries respectively.

Jamie Vardy is available but Ryan Bertrand and Wilfred Ndidi (both knees) remain out while Nampalys Mendy is ineligible for the game, which is well prepared following last week’s 1-1 draw.

Leicester provisional squad:

Schmeichel, Ward, Amartey, Justin, Pereira, Soyuncu, Evans, Fofana, Vestergaard, Thomas, Barnes, Tielemans, Maddison, Albrighton, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Soumare, Iheanacho, Perez, Daka, Lookman, Vardy.

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