Fonseca ahead of Napoli match: “I don’t want excuses, I expect a great performance from the team.”


Roma boss Paulo Fonseca faced the media today to discuss tomorrow’s pivotal league showdown against Napoli.

The match is a must-win for the Giallorossi if they want to reach their objective of finishing in the top four.

“We’re ready for this match,” began Fonseca.

“I don’t want to use lack of rest as an excuse, the team is motivated. We were able to give some guys a break on Thursday.I expect a great performance from our team — as I said, we are ready for this match.”

”Napoli is one the strongest teams in the league. They like to have the ball and take the initiative but they’re also good in defence.”

“The team is doing well after the misstep against Parma. But we can’t think about the Europa League right now, the only thing that matters is tomorrow against Napoli.”

He continued, “What we did in the Europa League is certainly a source of pride, but our focus has to be on the league and tomorrow.”

On the injury front, the Portuguese technician revealed that injured midfielder Jordan Veretout and defender Chris Smalling could be back sooner rather than later.

”They’re recovering well and they’ll be back with the team soon. Like always, I can only focus on the players I have available tomorrow. Of course these two and Mkhitaryan are very important for our team.”

“I think they’ll be back with us after the international break, but we cannot think about them right now.”

Before concluding, Fonseca lauded the attitude of Bryan Cristante. The Italian has transformed into the Giallorossi’s new “jolly” thanks to his ability to play in several different positions.

The midfielder has primarily been deployed as a central defender this season and has excelled in the position.

“Cristante is playing as a central defender and he’s done very well in this role and in other positions,” Fonseca explained.

“This is the kind of attitude and sacrifice we want for this team.”

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