Here's what coach Paulo Fonseca had to say on Sunday afternoon, following Roma's 2-0 defeat away at AC Milan. Late goals from Ante Rebic and Hakan Calhanoglu sealed the victory for the hosts, on a sweltering afternoon at an empty San Siro.
The difference came in the second half – was the issue for the team a mental one or a physical one?
“I think we played well in the first half; it was even, they lacked intensity, we were in control. It’s true that after the break, after 10 minutes or so Milan started to press us higher up the pitch – although without creating anything dangerous. But after that we gifted them the opener in a similar situation to the one against Sampdoria, and it was hard to recover from that.”
Does that change your aspirations of qualifying for the Champions League?
“No, we will keep working hard with the aim of winning every game, starting from the next one.”
How can you explain the drop in performance after the break?
“The truth is that even after the break Milan did not create much either, we pretty much had all of their attacks under control – I can only remember one moment really, when they had a shot from distance. The side was a bit too deep and that created some issues. It’s not an excuse. We lost the ball two or three times without being able to recover it – we can’t give away the opening goal like we did today and like we did against Sampdoria. It’s true that we haven’t created many chances today. If you aren’t creating many, then giving goals away like we have done only makes things a lot harder."
What are you most worried about now, going into 10 games in just a month?
"Above all the fitness levels - there is not a lot of time to recover, we have to play on two days' rest. Keeping consistency is not easy when you need to change players so much. It won't be easy but we are ready to keep on fighting until the end."
What effect has the [Chris] Smalling and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan loan situations had?
“I am not worried about it and neither are either of them, they will still be playing with us over the next few months.”
(Photo Getty Images)