Jose Mourinho took full responsibility for Roma’s humiliating 6-1 defeat to Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night, but pointed at the ‘limitations’ in his squad.
Roma had a 100 per cent record in the competition ahead of the Group C clash, so the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss decided to ring the changes – a move that backfired spectacularly on an artificial pitch in Norway.
The Serie A giants fell behind to an early Erik Botheim goal before Patrick Berg’s superb strike doubled the hosts’ advantage.
Carles Perez pulled a goal back for Roma, but Botheim completed his brace to put the Norwegian minnows in the driving seat just after half-time.
Ola Solbakken netted a late double and Amahl Pellegrino also got on the scoresheet to pile yet more misery on sorry Roma.
It was the first time ever that a Mourinho side had conceded six goals in a single match.
Speaking to Sky Italia after the match, Mourinho said: “I decided to play with this line-up, so the responsibility is mine.
“I did it with good intentions, to give an opportunity to those who work hard and to rotate the squad on a synthetic pitch in cold weather. I decided to rest many players.
Three Premier League midfielders Jose Mourinho could sign for Roma
We take a look at midfielders from Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea that AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho has been tipped to sign in January.
“We lost against a team that showed more quality on the night. It’s that simple.
“If I could always play with the same XI, then I would. It’s risky, because we have a huge gap in quality between the two groups of players.
“I knew the limits of this squad, it is not new to me. But I still expected a better response.
“As I said, it’s my choice to play them, so my responsibility.”
Mourinho hopes to silence doubters
Mourinho now hopes the embarrassing scoreline silences those who have been questioning his team selections this term.
“Every defeat does damage. I spoke to the players and was honest. I was honest with them, I cannot be honest with you,’ Mourinho added.
“I’ve never disguised the fact we were a squad with real limitations. We have 13 players who represent one team, the others are on a different level.
“At least the positive thing from now on is that nobody will ask me why I always use the same players.”