Roma v Fiorentina: Determined Garcia eyes Coppa respite
Roma coach Rudi Garcia has urged his side to show their mental strengths against Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday after some disappointing Serie A results of late.
Serie A's second-place side have flattered to deceive since the turn of the year - only beating Udinese in the league and getting past Empoli in the Coppa - with the Italian title looking increasingly likely to stay at Juventus this term.
Four draws in January have left Garcia frustrated but, with the prospect of a final-four clash against Juve on the horizon, the Frenchman feels Roma must show determination to get back to winning ways.
Garcia will be without recent signing Seydou Doumbia following his move from CSKA Moscow as well as fellow Ivory Coast team-mate Gervinho after the Elephants progressed to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final with victory over Algeria on Sunday.
"Technically and tactically we know exactly what we need to do and we need to shake off this bit of bad luck that's been following us around for a while," Garcia is quoted by the club's official website.
"We'll do better once I have more options to pick my team from - I don't have many at the moment.
"We just have to grit our teeth and do everything possible to get back to winning ways, starting this Tuesday.
"We're focusing only on the next game: we have three days to recover before our cup tie with Fiorentina when we want to reach the semis."
Vincenzo Montella's men have been in somewhat ruder health since the turn of the year - winning three and drawing two of their last six outings - including a 3-1 quarter-final victory against Atalanta.
While Fiorentina are continuing to adjust to the absence of Chelsea-bound Juan Cuadrado, club favourite Alberto Gilardino made his return off the bench in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Genoa following a loan move from Guangzhou Evergrande.
Despite Cuadrado's impending move to Stamford Bridge, Montella may opt to name Mario Gomez in the starting XI after he was rested at Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris.
"When an important player leaves just before a match there's inevitably some distraction but once the whistle blows you're fully focused on the task at hand," Montella told reporters of Cuadrado.
"The players have the chance to prove that even without Cuadrado they're capable of performing well.
"[Gomez has] played a lot of games recently and we have lots of strikers now. It was just a case of managing our resources."