Paulo Fonseca faced the media on Friday afternoon, to preview Saturday's Serie A meeting with Udinese. The Giallorossi travel to the Dacia Arena for an evening game, with kick-off at 20:45 local time. Here's what Fonseca had to say about the match...
Will the team remain largely unchanged from the Juventus game or will you mix it up?
“I can’t always give you the team. I’m not planning on making many changes, but we’ll see tomorrow.”
Were you surprised by the comments of Amadou Diawara’s agent? He has asked for more clarity on the player’s situation…
“I have to admit I was, because Diawara has always played and he was one the players that learned the most last season. Diawara is a very important player for the team and for me and he’s working very well. There’s no problem with him. If his agent thinks he can get a rise out of me with comments like these, he’s much mistaken.”
You made three subs in the first game and only two in the second match. Don’t you have faith in the players on the bench?
“I have faith in all of the players here. I spoke about this after the match against Juventus and I have nothing further to add.”
Are you satisfied with the club’s transfer business?
“I don’t want to speak about the transfer market. There aren’t many days left until it’s over – we can speak about it afterwards.”
Lorenzo Pellegrini has been posting some really impressive defensive stats. Do you think that position brings the best out of him?
“Pellegrini can play in various different positions. He’s always played very well in that position. He played brilliantly against Juventus.”
Roma have often played well against the big teams but you never seem to beat them. What does the team need to do to make that step up?
“You’re right, we’ve always played well against the big teams and done more than just created chances. It’s not easy to do that against these big sides. We’re lacking goals – we need to finish off the chances we create.”
Is Bruno Peres ready to return to the starting line-up? Which of the three right-backs is the first choice?
“None of them. Ricky [Karsdorp] played in the first game and did very well, just like [Davide] Santon against Juventus. Bruno is more offensive than the others, but we have to remember that he only started training a few days ago and isn’t yet fully fit. We need to wait for him to come back.”
You’re up against Udinese, who are a very physical side who keep it tight. How important is it for your trequartistas to find space between the lines? And how much do you need the full-backs to get forward and help out in attack?
“This is a completely different game. We’re preparing to face a team that defends deep and doesn’t let you have space between the lines. In our game, we need to find space in behind in order to attack. All of the big teams have found it tough going in Udine, because Udinese play deep and are always ready to break.”
Are you expecting your strikers to step up with some goals?
“I expect that from all my players. The truth is that we’ve created chances in every game. It doesn’t matter who scores, but that the team takes the chances it creates. Having said that, it’s something that comes naturally – the strikers will start scoring soon.”
How pleased are you that the transfer window is nearly over and you’ll be able to concentrate on football?
“It’s hard for all coaches when the transfer window is open. I’m looking forward to it closing because then it’s easier to work with the team.”
(Photo Getty Images)