Adem Ljajic says the pressure won’t get to him this weekend as he prepares to replace Francesco Totti in a Roma side seeking a record-equalling ninth straight Serie A win.
Totti, missing through injury, has been influential in the Giallorossi’s perfect start, scoring three goals and assisting a further six, but the Serbian, signed from Fiorentina during the summer, is confident that he can help to see off Udinese.
“I’m ready, particularly psychologically — I can’t wait to play from the first minute again,” said the 22-year-old, who has made just one start under Rudi Garcia so far this season, entering a further four times from the bench.
“I’m really desperate to play because I’ve not played much so far, but as long as we’re winning, that’s fine by me. Totti is the most important player, but many others want to show that we can play without him, and we still have to win without him.”
Victory in Udine would equal a record Juve set in 2005 of nine straight wins from the start of the season. They have already matched the Bianconeri’s eight-game winning streaks from 1930 and 1985, two seasons in which the Turin club won the title.
As things stand, Roma are the number one in Italy, though, according to Ljajic.
“We’re stronger than Juve right now,” he told Rds radio. “We’ve got five points more than them and we’re really hungry to carry on this way, but the season is long and we’ve still got to show who we are.
“Problems will arrive, but that’s another reason why football is so beautiful. I don’t want to think about how we’ll react to defeats, I just want to think about beating Udinese.”