Garcia: Roma squad size crucial for marathon season

The 50-year-old believes that his new signings and his large team will be able to handle the pressures of playing in Serie A and in a tough Champions League group

Roma coach Rudi Garcia believes that the size of the club's squad will be crucial in helping the Serie A outfit achieve success both domestically and in the Europe this season.

Roma start their new league campaign with a tough test against Fiorentina on Saturday, before having to play Bayern Munich, Manchester City and CSKA Moscow in a difficult Champions League group in September.

Garcia, though, is confident that he has the required depth in his team to be able to make a mark in both competitions this term.

"I've read lots of things since the start of pre-season: from euphoria, as if we'd already won, to negative things," he said. "Our main aim is to enjoy ourselves when we play and make sure the fans enjoy themselves too.

"We have a bigger squad this year - it's necessary given the games we have to play. We needed two per position and we have that.

"We'll be missing a few players tomorrow but we have able replacements who can come in. My players are ready, they can't wait to start and get stuck into the competitive matches.

"Now we're just thinking about beating Fiorentina, then we'll move on to Empoli and the Champions League. We have a marathon to run this year."

Garcia has recruited several new players this summer, including Kostas Manolas, Juan Iturbe and Salih Ucan and the 50-year-old commented on all three signings, insisting that he was impressed with his new recruits.

"Manolas? He's our defender for the future," he said. "I don't know if he'll start against Fiorentina but he's available. Iturbe is improving a lot. I've been impressed by his attitude and commitment in training.

"Ucan is a talented youngster. The first thing he needs to do is learn the language, he'll be a very important midfielder for us."

Roma will be without Mehdi Benatia after the defender chose to defect to Bayern Munich in a €30 million move this week.