Zeman not giving up on third place

The veteran Roma trainer believes his side can turn around their poor recent form before the end of the season and qualify for the Champions League
Roma coach Zdenek Zeman has refused to rule out the possibility of his side finishing third in Serie A, despite their 3-2 defeat to Parma on Wednesday.

The loss at the Stadio Ennio Tardini was the Giallorossi's fourth of the season, and they currently lie in seventh place, a full eight points behind Napoli, who currently occupy the third Champions League spot.

Despite their poor form, the Czech believes that his team will have to play to their potential to secure a place in European football's premier club competition for next season.

"I repeat, this is a great team, even if we are not showing it," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I have a lot of hope for third place. But you have to work hard to get it. With a little more luck and confidence, we will show that we can play like we did at times against Parma."

The 65-year-old also bemoaned the wet conditions in northern Italy as his side crashed to their third defeat in five games, and were leapfrogged in the table by their opponents in the process.

"The goals were influenced by the wet pitch. For the first Dodo made a mistake, but the other two were caused by the water on the pitch."

Zeman must now prepare his side for the visit of struggling Palermo as they look for a quick change in fortunes.