Spalletti sensitive of criticism
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is preparing himself to face familiar opposition on Sunday as Udinese travel to Stadio Olimpico, and the coach admits he has been offended by comments emanating from his old club.
Spalletti left Udinese in the summer after guiding the club to fourth in Serie A, and the second game of the season pits the tactician against his former employers.
Serse Cosmi is now in control at Stadio Friuli and club supremo Giampaolo Pozzo has been vocally critical of his previous manager.
After enjoying a fruitful time at Udinese Spalletti says he has been hurt by certain comments, although praised a number of his former players for their efforts during his time at the club.
"He gave me a few offences that I'll forget with difficulty," said Spalletti. "I gave him more respect than the one he gave to me.
"People like [Nestor] Sensini, [Valerio] Bertotto and [Morgan] De Sanctis, they gave me something more in my years at Udine."
Spalletti's pressing concern with the Giallorossi is currently the future of gifted forward Antonio Cassano, as the Italian international was omitted from the 3-0 victory over Reggina as he has still not signed a new deal at Stadio Olimpico.
Reports in Italy suggest the Juventus and Internazionale target is close to ending the impasse with his current employers, and Spalletti says he will utilise Cassano's talents when he feels the time is appropriate after being satisfied with his efforts in training.
"I think to manage him as I did until now, that's to say as I manage the others," Spalletti continued.
"I'll try to do less differences as possible, anyway it's a pleasure he's coming from my side.
"In the training sessions his behaviour certainly helps us find the champion he is.
"When will he play from the beginning? This is a problem of mine, he will play when I will consider it good."