UEFA Europa League


Roma's coach Paulo Fonseca spoke in his post-match press conference following Thursday's 1-0 victory over Gent in the Europa League. Carles Perez scored the only goal of the game, as the Giallorossi got back to winning ways and earned themselves a slender advantage heading into the second leg of the last-32 tie. The two sides meet again in a week at the Ghelamco Arena.

"The most important thing was to win and keep a clean sheet," Fonseca said. "It's not easy at the moment, but the players have battled and worked hard to improve. We haven't yet rediscovered the level of confidence that we previously had, but the players want to change that."

"When there's no confidence to play our game, we mustn't take too many risks because the passing lines aren't the same as they were a month ago. The players tried to do these things well and it was very important to win today. We're still lacking that confidence to close games out at the right time and get our passing lines right. I want to mention our fans, who were fantastic tonight. They understood that the team needed support and they did just that. I wanted to praise them for that."

About Cristante who moved between midfield and defence: "As a team, they tend to press with two forwards and we saw how they find it more difficult against a back three. We considered that as a solution to prevent them from pressing high in that part of the pitch. I think we did well in terms of building the play, but there weren't enough passing lines. We kept it simple up front when we actually should have taken more risks, particularly when we got through the first line of the Gent press."

On Lorenzo Pellegrini: "I think that he is is a very important part of this team. If he's not in great form, we have to support him because he's a youngster who feels the responsibility more than others. I've spoken to him about this. If there's a member of the team who loves Roma like nobody else, it's him. He's really felt the responsibility during this period. We have to help him. He has to rediscover his confidence and we have to understand that he's young, how much he loves Roma and carries the feeling of responsibility. He's done so much for Roma this season and we can't forget how important he is to the team."

(Photo Getty Images)