24 October 2014 16:58
Rudi Garcia insists Roma’s 7-1 battering at the hands of Bayern Munich does not undo their fine start to the season.
Bundesliga champions Bayern ran riot in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League clash at the Stadio Olimpico, with the game essentially put to bed by half-time as Pep Guardiola’s men raced into a 5-0 lead.
The loss was just Roma’s second competitive home defeat of 2014 and they trail leaders Juventus by a solitary point in Serie A having won six of their opening seven league matches.
Next up is a trip to third-placed Sampdoria, who have yet to be beaten in Italy’s top flight this term, and Roma coach Garcia does not expect a Champions League hangover.
“The defeat on Tuesday doesn’t cancel out our start to the season,” Garcia said.
“We have six wins out of seven, and we’ve lived up to our ambitions. We must start again from this. We face a team which has four wins so far – almost all of them at home – and three draws.
“They haven’t lost, and that means they’re a good team. I expect Roma to show ambition. It’s going to be difficult to win and we’ll have to give our all out there on the pitch.
“The first thing we have to do is to play our game, be ambitious in attack and defence and then the result will come.”
Garcia was able to provide a positive update regarding midfielder Kevin Strootman, who is stepping up his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained against Napoli in March.
The Netherlands international is progressing well, but Garcia is aware Strootman needs to regain confidence after suffering such a serious injury.
“Kevin is recovering well physically, he started playing in training matches this week,” Garcia added.
“He has to regain his confidence after a major injury, he still doesn’t change direction. I think that when he can do that with the ball is when there will be a major injection of confidence in his recovery.”