Enrique denies Roma copying Barcelona

31 March 2012 03:46

Roma coach Luis Enrique denied on Saturday that he is trying to copy Barcelona with his side.

Enrique used to be a reserve team coach at Barca until taking over in the Italian capital last summer.

He has tried to encourage a passing and possession game with his players this season, prompting inevitable comparisons with the Catalan giants.

But Enrique says it would be futile to try to copy Pep Guardiola's team.

"I'm not trying to play like Guardiola or Barcelona. Repeating their style, with their players and their culture, would be impossible," said the Spaniard.

"The style of play that most leads you to victory is one that I think is an entertaining style and which the fans like.

"Our style of play is Roma's style, which I brought here, but it's not like Barcelona's. Barca's style has characteristics adapted to their players; ours is adapted to our players.

"It can be similar and correct and we don't launch long balls. But we can't play in a way in which a player like (Lionel) Messi beats four or five players.

"Or like (Andres) Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and (Daniel) Alves, who pass the ball around five opponents without losing it."

Enrique has been trying this season to make the club competitive again.

Roma had produced three second-placed finishes in four seasons from 2007-2010 but have since been struggling just to qualify for the Europa League.

This season they hold the last of those spots and lead Catania by two points, although perhaps more importantly, Inter Milan are three points behind.

On Sunday, Roma face second-bottom Novara in the lunch-time kick-off and Enrique admits to being concerned.

"I'm very worried about tomorrow," he said. "I'm not happy about the time -- we're not used to it. And on top of that, it's not a match that's already won. The players can't afford to relax. I want to see the right mentality and intensity.

"Without that, (Novara) will be even more dangerous. We'll need a lot of intensity and we'll need to move the ball around a lot."

Source: AFP