Jose Mourinho has taken aim at misfiring Roma striker Tammy Abraham, suggesting the England international may be distracted by the World Cup.
Abraham enjoyed a prolific debut season with the Giallorossi, scoring 27 goals in 53 appearances during the 2021-22 campaign, but he has only netted three times in 18 games this term.
The Roma head coach appeared to question the focus of the former Chelsea forward, whose last Serie A goal came in the 2-1 win over Empoli on September 12.
"You should ask him what’s the problem," said Mourinho during his press conference ahead of Wednesday's clash with Sassuolo. "If he is distracted, if he has a problem or if he thinks about the World Cup."
However, Mourinho defended Roger Ibanez, who was subjected to criticism after his error culminated in Felipe Anderson's winning goal during the derby defeat by Lazio on Sunday.
"Respect is due to somebody who has always given his best since day one," the coach added.
"When we played in Seville [against Real Betis in the Europa League last month], I saw him in the morning and thought it was impossible for him to play, but he made it. To me, he is untouchable."
Roma travel to Sassuolo without Lorenzo Pellegrini, who is the latest player to join their lengthy injury list that already includes Paulo Dybala, Georginio Wijnaldum and Leonardo Spinazzola.
"Pellegrini has been playing too much and is struggling. He is fragile and doesn’t end many games being 100 per cent fit.
"We lost three starters in midfield [in the transfer window], [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, Sergio Oliveira and [Jordan] Veretout. Wijnaldum hasn't played yet, then we have [Mady] Camara and [Nemanja] Matic.
"Unfortunately, we faced unexpected problems this last season. When Spinazzola got injured at the Euros, we had to take a direction we didn't like.
"I am crying a lot, but I don't like to do so, I like to say that we have had these problems that opened the door to [Cristian] Volpato and [Nicola] Zalewski. [Edoardo] Bove is improving and [Benjamin] Tahirovic will play soon."