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Mar 8, 2011

Montella confident of Shakhtar upset

Roma coach Vincenzo Montella is confident his side can end Shakhtar Donetsk's 100% home record in this season's Champions League when the two sides meet on Tuesday night.

Claudio Ranieri was in charge of the Giallorossi when they lost the first leg of the last-16 clash 2-3 at the Stadio Olimpico but the former Chelsea manager quit last month.

Under caretaker coach Montella, who was promoted from his role with the Italian club's junior team, Roma have gone three games unbeaten in Serie A and are full of confidence following a 2-1 win at Lecce on Saturday.

And his side will need to be in top form to get the win they require against the big-spending Ukrainian side, who have not lost a match at home in any competition since moving to the Donbass Arena in 2009.

"They are a quality team who haven't lost for 60 games, but they are beatable," Montella said. "I want to see the same Roma side who faced Lecce, a team who were concentrated right up until the final whistle.

"I'm optimistic because Roma are clearly growing. We have a better squad than our opponents, but we are aware that we have a feat to achieve.

"It's important that my players have the right stimulus. They have a certain style of play, but we have our characteristics too."

Montella was at home when the first leg was played and insists he saw some positives despite the loss.

"I saw the first leg on television," he added. "Roma started well but then had 10 minutes of madness. They were then able to react again and had opportunities to equalise."

Roma captain Francesco Totti spoke highly of Montella and the impact he has had since taking control of the club.

"When he turned up it seemed as if he had been coaching for 20 years," Totti said. "We have an excellent rapport and I hope he stays for some time. Montella has come in and changed our form.

"We have returned to patterns we know well. The derby [on Sunday] is important, but now we are playing in Europe.

"Shakhtar? We have to get through. We know who we are facing and what counter-measures are needed. We can cause them difficulties."

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