Roma coach Mourinho: Attitude shift saw us defeat HJK

Roma coach Jose Mourinho was pleased after their 3-0 Europa League win at HJK Helsinki.

Second-half goals from Paulo Dybala, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Andrea Belotti earned the victory, with Miro Tenho sent off in the first-half for HJK.

“Obviously Dybala scored the first goal and the team had a different attitude. We had the wrong attitude in the first half, acting as if we were 11 against 11,” Mourinho told Sky Italia.

“We were too passive, whereas Paulo broke the deadlock and that changed the whole attitude, we moved to essentially a two-man defence, knew it was mandatory to get two goals quickly and make the most of the extra man.

“I’m sorry for HJK, as they started well and it was difficult after going down to 10 men. VAR made the right decision, but I’ve been in these situations as a coach and it’s tough for a coach and players.

“It was a difficult match for us, we tried moving the ball around. What a coach must do is try to disguise the weaknesses of his squad as best he can. That also means making the most of your strengths, other coaches investigate and study us, just as we do with or opponents, so it’s a puzzle.

“Roma did not play well in the first half, but this game isn’t really a reference for tactics because it was against 10 men for 75 minutes. We need to improve building out from the back, again we have difficulty in that and I try to hide it, but we need to move the ball around faster and these super talented players we have upfront need to be more determined in the finishing.

“I think this virus of the fancy football is spreading, because Gallo had a few back-heel flicks today and that’s not his style! He needs to get it over the line with anything, his knee, his head, his butt, whatever! We create many, many scoring opportunities and don’t score enough goals.”