Rudi Garcia: Roma just wants to finish second

The former Lille boss says he is more concerned with keeping Napoli at arm's length than trying to reel in the runaway league leaders.
Roma boss Rudi Garcia has written off his side's hopes of winning Serie A, claiming his primary objective now is finishing second.

Although the Giallorossi have played a game less than the Bianconeri, they are currently 14 points behind Antonio Conte's side and just six ahead of third-placed Napoli.

Consequently, Garcia is more concerned with ensuring that Roma qualify automatically for next season's Champions League by finishing second than he is with trying to overhaul Juve.

"They're having a record-breaking season, but so are we," the Frenchman said of the reigning champions during a news conference on Monday. "All we can do is win and see what happens come the end of the season. But there's one thing we need to keep our eyes on: the standings.

"Second place is not sewn up yet; we mustn't let up. My team has 64 points and I just want our total to be 67 come the end of the Torino match. I just want to finish second, even with a few injured players. I'm happy with my roster, this season and happy to be here. We'll do everything we can to stay second. I think our only realistic goal should be to retain second spot between now and the end of the season."

Although Garcia has transformed Roma's fortunes since arriving from Lille last summer, there has been some speculation about his future at the Stadio Olimpico.

It was thought that he would discuss a contract extension with president James Pallotta this weekm but the 50-year-old trainer insisted no talks have been scheduled.

"The president arrived this morning [Monday] but he has a very important date in his diary with the stadium presentation [on Wednesday]," he said. "We haven't yet earmarked a time to discuss my future. All I care about is tomorrow's match - I'm focused on Torino."

Turning his attention to the game, Garcia confirmed that midfielder Daniele De Rossi is set to make his return from injury against the Granata.

"Daniele has trained very well," he said. "Let's hope there's no problem settling back in after his time out of the team.

"Now we have fewer players on the treatment table and that's good news in light of the run of games we have coming up."

However, Garcia did admit that right back Maicon is a doubt for Tuesday evening's encounter in the Italian capital.

"Maicon only spent part of the session with the squad this morning," he said. "His knee still hurts. We've got another 24 hours to assess him, although it's nothing serious. His complaint is just related to pain. I hope it's all subsided come tomorrow morning."