Paulo Fonseca was pleased with his side's attacking performance in their 5-2 win over Benevento on Sunday. Pedro, Edin Dzeko (twice), Jordan Veretout and Carles Perez all got on the scoresheet during the game at the Stadio Olimpico - and here's what the boss had to say afterwards...
With all this quality at your disposal, do you think you can build a dangerous side?
“We played well today. We have confidence in what we are doing. It’s a new season, but the side has started things well. Now we have a lot of games in a short space of time and we need to manage our energy – but I’m confident.”
There’s work to do on managing games, especially at certain moments…
“We didn’t concede too many dangerous chances in our own area, but sometimes we need to manage the ball in those moments a little bit differently.”
Today so many goals were scored around the league. But to win games you can’t afford to give away too many clear-cut chances to the opposition…
“We conceded one goal in a slightly unlucky situation and then another from a penalty – it’s not that the team lacks balance defensively. But it’s true that in the past I’ve said that Serie A is a defensive league but today’s results are further proof that Italian football is actually very attacking. I think it’s a positive thing that so many goals have been scored in Serie A; I want a attacking side, one that creates lots of chances on goal. That’s a positive thing for Italian football.”
As the season goes on, could Roma be among the front-runners?
“I want to be realistic and level-headed at all times. We know that there are two clubs in particular that have made huge investments recently, and they are the main contenders for the title. Then there are other teams, among them Roma, that want to qualify for the Champions League and have the quality to have a good season. And we want to make sure we have a good season – better than last year.”
When Chris Smalling returns, will you look more towards the three-man defence or the four-man defence?
“The team showed today that they can play in both systems. It depends largely on the game and characteristics of the opposition. We can play with a three-man defence, with three central defenders, or in a four-man backline as we did today with the 4-3-3. The team is ready and able to play in both formations.”
How will you look to contain Zlatan Ibrahimovic next week? Do you need Chris Smalling back for that?
“I don’t know if Smalling will be fit for the game, but we have other strong defenders. Kumbulla, Ibanez and Mancini are all really good and I have confidence in them.”
If you get a result in Milan, there will be talk about the title...
“In that regard I am the first to ask for balance. When we win we are not the best, and when we lose we aren’t the worst either. It’s important we keep that balance.”
Would you like to be in charge of transfers too?
“I’m a coach, I don’t want to do more than that.”
(Photo Getty Images)