Zaniolo: ‘Mourinho decisions made me reflect’

Zaniolo: ‘Mourinho decisions made me reflect’

Nicolò Zaniolo is getting to grips with his new tactical role at Roma and admits Jose Mourinho forced him to ‘reflect’ by dropping him.

The 22-year-old started this evening’s 4-0 Europa Conference League win over Zorya Luhansk and scored a goal, as well as providing an assist for Tammy Abraham.

Carles Perez was also on target, with Abraham completing his brace at the Stadio Olimpico.

Conference League | Roma 4-0 Zorya: Zaniolo and Abraham revitalised

“More than for me, it was an important win for the team. It was not an easy situation, but we are certain now that we’ll at least continue in the competition,” Zaniolo told Sky Sport Italia.

The result secures at least a top two finish, but currently they are heading towards the play-offs for a spot in the Round of 16.

There had been reports the Italy international was dropped after a row over his tactical role, but he seems to be flourishing as a trequartista behind the strikers.

“I can play there, I can play wide, I can more or less go anywhere upfront. The coach tells me to play there and I am at the full disposal of the team.

“Sitting on the bench made me reflect, I accepted the decisions from the coach. I love being under pressure and giving my response on the pitch.”

Zaniolo was asked what he has learned from working with Mourinho so far this season at Roma.

“Mourinho taught me not to settle for a good performance, that we must always ask for more from ourselves and keep improving.”