Jose Mourinho laid into Roma's fringe players after his much-rotated side suffered a shock 6-1 defeat to Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League.
The defeat was the heaviest of Mourinho's managerial career despite the Norwegian side having cost a fraction of I Giallorossi's budget. The score was only 2-1 at half time but Bodo/Glimt burst into life in the second half, scoring four times without reply to go top of Group C.
After the game, Mourinho - in typical fashion - 'took responsibility' for the result, before subjecting his players to a series of not-so-subtle digs.
“I’m the one who decided to play with the team we use tonight, so it’s my responsibility,” Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia. “I did it with good intentions and to give opportunities to those who work hard and also give a rest to some guys. Tonight we lost against a team with more quality, it’s as simple as that.
“If I could use the same players every match I would. It’s risky because there’s a huge gulf between our first choice and second choice players. I expected better, but it’s my responsibility.”
He added: “Every defeat leaves scars. I already spoke frankly and honestly to the players. The good thing is that no one will keep asking me why the same players keep playing.”
The result takes the shine off what has been a fairly solid start to the season. Roma currently sit fourth in Serie A with five wins from their opening eight games. However, they face a tough test on Sunday when they host runaway leaders Napoli, who have won every league game this campaign.
Asked whether his side stood any chance of getting a result following their disastrous night in Norway, Mourinho responded confidently.
“We can’t get Sunday wrong against Napoli,” Mourinho added. “Our first choice players have been doing well. They’ll have the weight of this defeat on their shoulders.”