Parma vs AS Roma preview - Garcia aiming for top five

Posted Sunday, September 15, 2013 by PA

Roma's owners may have tasked head coach Rudi Garcia with restoring the club to the Champions League but the Frenchman believes there is a big difference between ambition and reality.

Ahead of Monday night's Serie A meeting with Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, Garcia admitted the medium-term plan handed down by the boardroom is to secure a place in Europe's premier competition after a two-year exile.

The Giallorossi, who could only finish sixth last season, have won their first two league games under the former Lille boss and he currently feels fifth place would be a satisfactory target, as long as they can stay focused on the present.

He told his club's official website: "Can we get back into the Champions League? I like ambition and I'm as ambitious as anyone.

"But ambition is one thing and your real target for the season is another. Our aim is to finish in the top five.

"We have a very tough game on Monday. Yes, we've collected six points so far but we have to prepare for this match properly.

"That's all I want to think about at the moment."

Midfielder Michael Bradley and striker Mattia Destro are unavailable through injury in the Ducale city while Parma are missing defender Gabriele Paletta and midfielder Daniele Galloppa.

Garcia has done his homework on the opposition, who now boast former Roma striker Antonio Cassano in their ranks following his summer move from Inter Milan.

"I've studied our opposition of course, as I always do," he added. "They have their strengths and their weaknesses like everyone else.

"Amauri and (Antonio) Cassano are two excellent players but I'm confident in my own team's ability.

"We must concentrate on the most dangerous aspects of (Roberto) Donadoni's team and Cassano is certainly one of those."

Parma defender Massimo Gobbi played in last season's 3-2 home victory over Roma and is feeling reasonably optimistic despite a slow start to the new campaign.

The Gialloblu were held to a goalless draw by Chievo before losing 3-1 at Udinese last time out.

Gobbi said: "The week has gone well and we've worked a lot on both our technique and tactics.

"I don't know if we will change our tactical system, we've tried a lot of things but the coach will decide. We are certainly a flexible team, but that is also a quality that has to be trained into us.

"But with good players like us, the systems can change."



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