Serie A TIM


Coach Paulo Fonseca admitted a slow start to the second half had proven 'fatal' for his side - although he was pleased with the way Roma fought back to claim a draw against Inter Milan on Sunday.

Gianluca Mancini's late header ensured the points were shared at the Stadio Olimpico, after Inter had scored twice inside the first 20 minutes of the second half to briefly turn the contest around.

Here's what the boss had to say after the game...

Can you be considered one of the contenders after snatching a late result in the manner you did today?

“It’s hard for me to discuss this game, because I think we did well in the first half and then in the first 15 minutes of the second half we were just not the same team.

“Then, when Inter scored their second, we found ourselves again – playing nearer their penalty area. Those 15-20 minutes after the break were fatal.”

The explanation for that isn’t to do with fitness?

“It’s not about fitness because we finished the game playing as well as we did at the beginning.”

Did bringing on Bryan Cristante give the team more physical presence and directness?

“Bryan did really well coming off the bench, he made a big impact. The truth is that for our pressing it’s important to have [Jordan] Veretout. But Bryan came on for him and did really well.”

In those 15-20 second half minutes it seemed like you’d lost the tight marking you had in the first half...

“Inter started the second half by dropping Brozovic and Vidal deeper and we lost our ability to press them effectively. Playing like that, it’s hard to go up against a side like Inter when you don’t have the ability to put pressure on them.”

Will you be looking for a central midfielder in the transfer market?

“Buying a central midfielder is not a priority. Villar is in really good form at the moment and we have Veretout, Cristante, Diawara and Pellegrini who can all play there.”

How important could that final part of the game be for your team? Does it represent a step forward?

“Against a side like Inter, we have to understand that we always need to maintain our aggression, our identity throughout the match. Because you cannot make any mistakes against sides of that quality.”

Will this result be a boost going into the derby?

“That will be another game, another tough game – Lazio are a great side. We need to think about and understand what we can improve and what we need to retain in order to produce a good derby performance.”

(Photo Getty Images)