Paulo Fonseca has described pre-season so far as “very positive”, as his Roma side won 12-0 against Serie D side Tor Sapienza on Thursday evening. The training game, held at Trigoria, was another step up in intensity for the group – who have been working under the Portuguese boss for almost two weeks now. Speaking after the game Fonseca, while acknowledging the limited test posed by the opposition, indicated his satisfaction at the work the players have put in so far.
“The first impressions have been good, it’s always important to start putting into practice the ideas we have been working on in training,” he said, when asked about the game itself.
“Given that the opposition were not the most testing, the guys nevertheless tried to do what I had asked of them. I saw the right attitude from the group – obviously there is a lot of room for improvement, but then you have to note that a few guys were playing out of position too.
"Overall I can say I am satisfied; the lads did well.”
Asked for an overall assessment of pre-season so far, Fonseca added: “Very positive. The players have applied themselves to the job very well, they’ve really knuckled down and put in the effort.
"Clearly there are still a lot of things to work on and improve; my approach is a very complex way of playing but you can already see the players trying to implement some of the things I am asking.
“So we can say that things are going well so far: everyone is showing they are committed to the project and that’s important. We still have a few players to return – this week a few of the international players come back – and a few players to arrive, but so far everyone has been very focused.”
Patrik Schick, Alessandro Florenzi, Edin Dzeko and Cengiz Under were all among the goalscorers in the game, but Fonseca was more focused on some of the other elements of the match – including the team’s pressing mechanisms and defensive line.
“A high defensive line is our aim,” he said.
“In the game you could see the desire to win the ball back quickly, even if the opposition were not the best. We want the high press to be a key part of our identity. And today you started to see that the players are ready to do that.”
He added: “The enthusiasm of the lads is something we always need to have. This is something me and my staff absolutely demand and I think the players have quickly understood that.
"Anyone who doesn’t understand that and embrace that will have difficulty playing in this team – but I have to say that so far I have been working with a squad that is fired up, focused and open to ideas.
“This is just the start of the process, but that is all a positive sign.”
Roma have a number of other training matches to come over the next 10 days. On Saturday they host another local side, Trastevere, with kick-off pencilled in for 17:30 local time.
(Photo Getty Images)