Mourinho ‘calm’ ahead of competitive Roma bow

ROME: Jose Mourinho said he was “calm” ahead of his first competitive game as Roma coach, insisting that taking charge of a team for the 996th time in his career poses little anxiety.

“It’s true that this will be my first official match with this club, but it will be my 996th match if I’m not mistaken so I am calm,” he told Sky Sport ahead of Friday’s (1.30am Malaysian time) Europa Conference League playoff first leg at Trabzonspor.

Despite the game forming part of UEFA’s new third-tier club tournament, 58-year-old Mourinho said it was a tie worthy of a greater stage.

“For me, it doesn’t seem like a Conference League playoff, but rather a Europa League or Champions League match because the two clubs played the Champions League a few years ago,” he said.

Mourinho also said he expects great things from Tammy Abraham who he bought from former club Chelsea.

Abraham was signed just three days after veteran striker Edin Dzeko was shipped out to Inter Milan to replace Romelu Lukaku who completed the transfer triangle by returning to Stamford Bridge.

“Abraham doesn't have the history of Edin, who is 35, but he’s won it all and he’s still young, with great potential,” explained Mourinho.

Roma will get their Serie A campaign underway on Sunday with a home clash against Fiorentina. – AFP