UEFA Europa League


Paulo Fonseca had praise for a number of the fringe members of his squad following Thursday's Europa League win over Young Boys. The Giallorossi came from behind to win 2-1 on the synthetic pitch in Bern, as defenders Bruno Peres and Marash Kumbulla both got on the scoresheet midway through the second half. Here is what the boss had to say after the game...

You took a few risks with your team selection, but in the end you were proven right. Were you lucky or smart?

“The main thing is to have confidence in all the players. And that’s what I have.

"It was a tough game, Young Boys aren’t an easy side to face. They have won their last 15 games [16 at home in the league] and we shouldn’t forget that they beat Juventus two seasons ago. We faced a few challenges in adjusting to the pitch, it was very quick. It was important to win and we did well to do that.”

Was winning this one crucial for ensuring you will progress from the group in the end?

“It was important to start with a win, but there are still a lot of games to go from here until the end of the group stage. Now we need to be thinking about the game against Milan.

"We were able to rest a few players tonight and that’s useful. It is not straightforward playing on a pitch like this – but it’s always important to win the first game, even more so if it happens to be an away game.”

Is Leonardo Spinazzola undroppable right now?

“Spinazzola is playing really well, he’s in great form. For me he’s a very important player.”

A few players caught the eye – and Pau Lopez ended up preserving the win at the end. Could his performance boost his confidence after a difficult spell for him?

“It’s an important sign that players like that, who haven’t played much so far, were able to respond in the way they did. Juan Jesus, Federico Fazio and Pau haven’t played for a while – I’m pleased with the fact that they all came in and played well.”

Against AC Milan on Monday will you make nine changes again?

“Right now we have an issue, we don’t have that many players. We’ll see what condition everyone is in after this game.”


(Photo Getty Images)