Jose Mourinho took responsibility after his Roma side suffered a stunning 6-1 defeat against Norwegians Bodo/Glimt in the UEFA Conference League.
It is the first time in Mourinho’s long and trophy-laden managerial career that one of his teams has conceded six goals in a game.
Bodo/Glimt are the reigning Norwegian champions but have little pedigree in European competitions and, even taking on a second-string Roma side, this was a remarkable result.
Speaking on asroma.com, Mourinho said: “I decided to put out the side I did. It’s my responsibility. Obviously I did it with good intentions in mind, for two main reasons.
“From one side, I wanted to give a chance to those players who have been working really hard but have not had much chance to play. From the other side, considering the squad we have and all the games we have to play, I wanted to rest some of the players that have played in pretty much every game.
“On an artificial pitch, in weather conditions like these, I decided to rotate a lot of players. Then, we lost to a side that was better than us. It’s simple. The Bodo first team is better than the one that started the game for us.”
On the effect of the result on his team, Mourinho added: “It always leaves an impact. I don’t have any doubt about that. But I’ve already spoken to the lads in the dressing room and I was honest with them.”
Erik Botheim and Patrick Berg put the hosts two up inside 20 minutes but a comeback looked on the cards when Carles Perez pulled one back in the 28th minute.
Instead, Roma found themselves on the wrong end of a four-goal second half performance, with Botheim and Amahl Pellegrino on the scoresheet along with a double from Ola Solbakken.
At the end of the game, Roma’s players – including England forward Tammy Abraham, who came on as a second-half substitute – were involved in a confrontation with away supporters as they thanked them for making the trip.
The result put Bodo/Glimt top of Group C and on course to qualify for the next stage.