Montella begins Roma reign

Former Italy and Roma striker takes over until end of the season and is immediately tested by Adriano no-show.

    The former Roma striker knows Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is in line for the permanent job if the English side fail to make the Champions League next year [AFP]

    New coach Vincenzo Montella began his full day in charge at Roma on Tuesday following the resignation of Claudio Ranieri last week, saying he did not feel like a caretaker manager in his first ever coaching position.  

    The former Roma and Italy striker took over from Ranieri after the ex-Chelsea and Valencia coach resigned following four consecutive losses in Italy's Serie A.

    The drama began immediately for Montella as troubled striker Adriano immediately tested his mettle by not turning up for training.

    Long-term aims

    Montella has a contract until the end of the season, but said he intends to prove that he's worthy of a long-term deal ahead of his first game in charge at Bologna on Wednesday.

    "I don't feel like a caretaker,'' Montella said, aware of media reports linking Roma fan Carlo Ancelotti with the job if his Chelsea side continue to stutter.

    "I know what I'm taking on, but I accepted with enthusiasm and confidence.''

    "At the same time, the rumours don't annoy me. To tell you the truth, I'm not annoyed that people are talking about Ancelotti, a person who I look up to a lot."

    Roma's last victory in the league was a 3-0 win against Cagliari on January 22.

    Ranieri resigned after Roma threw away a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 to Genoa. The run also included losses to Inter Milan and Napoli in the league and Shakhtar Donetsk in the European Champions League.

    'Psychological hurdle'

    "There is a psychological hurdle that we need to overcome,'' Montella said.

    "As such I am happy that we are playing soon and away from home.

    "We have to look at tomorrow's game and give our all. The players are going through a bad period and I will need to talk to them, but I do believe in them.''

    Adriano's failure to report back to Italy as scheduled after spending the last few weeks in Brazil recovering from a broken arm was cause for concern however.

    The striker quit Inter Milan to return to Brazil two years ago because of personal problems and Roma knew they were taking a risk bringing him back to Serie A.

    Agent Gilmar Rinaldi told Italian media: "Only he knows what he wants to do."

    Montella was part of the Roma team that last won the Serie A title in 2001. In total he scored 83 times in 204 matches and lined up alongside current Roma players Francesco Totti, Simone Perrotta and Daniele De Rossi.

    "I am lucky to have a squad filled with quality players of the highest level,'' Montella said.

    "I believe I have an embarrassment of riches, but I can't please everyone and it will be me who decides (who plays).''

    SOURCE: Agencies


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