Fonseca ahead of Spal: “Zaniolo hasn’t been called up due to injury”.


Roma manager Paulo Fonseca spoke today as his side travels to Ferrara tomorrow to face the already relegated Spal. Here’s what the Giallorossi’s Portuguese boss had to say ahead of the clash:

Sunday’s game against Inter was perhaps one of Roma’s best performances since you’ve been here, especially considering the quality of the opposition. How are the players feeling mentally after that draw?
They are doing well. Even if we can’t be too pleased, because we ended up not winning a game that we deserved to. But the players are doing well and now we have another tough game, another one where we will need the same attitude we showed against Inter.

It will be a important game and we can only win if we play in that way.

Leonardo Spinazzola was one of the best players on the pitch prior to his error at the end. What did you make of that end to the game?
These are things that can happen during a game. Spinazzola is in good form, he’s played in most of the games and he’s done well. It was not an error of organisation or placement, it was just bad luck.

Tomorrow you go to Ferrara to face a side that has already been relegated, so what sort of game are you expecting?
They are always tough games in these circumstances, because SPAL don’t have pressure on them any more and they can play a bit more freely. It will be a difficult game for us, that’s why we need the same attitude and ambition we’ve shown recently. I am well aware it won’t be an easy game.

The two players behind Edin Dzeko have a hard life in this system – they have to help the team in both phases of the game. How are Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini doing physically?
They are tired, we will see tomorrow if they start the game. They are both playing really well right now. I don’t agree with the criticism directed at Lorenzo. We can’t forget that he has been injured a few times this season, or how hard he works for the team.

I have complete faith in him and I don’t think it’s fair some of the things being said about him. He’s a Roma fan, he is as passionate about the team as anyone and you see that on the pitch; he runs a lot, he works so hard for his teammates. He is incredibly important for us.

Will you go with the same team again tomorrow, or are you prepared to rest some players?
We’ll see. We are evaluating the condition of all our players. We have had a few intense games in quick succession – so I think it is likely we will need to make changes in a few positions.

How is Nicolo Zaniolo? Will he be back in the squad for tomorrow’s game?
He’s still not quite fit and he won’t be in the squad. However, I want to say that it’s not right some of the things that are being written about Zaniolo.

Those that know me know that I always speak the truth, as I have done in the past with other players. Some stories just aren’t true. There’s no issue with Zaniolo; if I say that I spoke with him and that there are no issues then that is the truth. When there is a problem I will say it. Right now he is injured, that’s it. There is no other issue.

 

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