Roma coach Rudi Garcia may be leading his team into the lion’s den but the Frenchman says anything less than a Champions League victory at Barcelona on Tuesday simply won’t do.
Roma are second behind the Catalans in Group E but a failure to win would mean they could see their qualification destiny taken out of their hands, depending on the result in Belarus between BATE and Bayer Leverkusen.
Not many sides come away from the Camp Nou with victory but Garcia insists that must be his team’s sole aim, and he’s prepared to take the necessary risks to do so.
“For us, losing or drawing changes nothing. If we want to keep our destiny in our own hands, we have to win here, although not many teams have done that these last few years,” said Garcia at Monday’s pre-match press conference.
If facing Barca isn’t already daunting enough, the La Liga champions come into the match on the back of a 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid at the weekend that sent them four points clear at the top of the league.
“I didn’t need to see the Clasico to know that they’re a great team,” added Garcia.
“But no teams are invincible, that’s what makes football so great.
“We know that we’re going to have to do everything almost perfectly in order to get a positive result. However, if we go onto the pitch believing we’ve already lost, there would be no point in playing.”
When the two sides met in Rome in September, they drew 1-1, but Garcia said his side are going to need to be more attacking this time around.
“We’re going to try to do things differently and not just defend. There are solutions,” he said.
“It’s difficult to put them into practice because you have to take risks, but we cannot win without taking risks.”
Roma are five points behind Barca, one ahead of Bayer and two clear of BATE going into Tuesday’s penultimate group stage matches.
The Italians finish their campaign in two weeks at home to BATE while Barca will travel to Germany.