Fonseca ahead of the Derby: “We have to fight for the supporters. Pastore and Perotti will be on the bench”.


Roma manager Paulo Fonseca held his pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s showdown against Lazio. Here’s what he had to say:

After training there was this embrace between the fans and the team. What sort of signal is this and can it give a boost of courage?
It is great for us to see this support from our supporters. I am very happy to see this — it is very important for us. Our fans have supported us in an important way all season. Right now, we have to fight for them and have a good game.

How’s the team? Are any of the injured players recovered?
We have Perotti and Pastore, who will not be able to start the game but will be on the bench. It is good news for us. For the rest, the team is doing well, they’re confident and motivated. We have the conditions to play a good game tomorrow.

Is there the possibility of deploying a three-man defence? Is there also the possibility of seeing Spinazzola and Santon as fullbacks?
We will play with a four-man defence. We’ll see who plays tomorrow.

How much will Diawara’s injury affect things?
I am optimistic. The next few days will be important. We don’t need to do the operation now, we need to wait and see. He is improving and I believe that surgery will not be needed. But this is me talking and it’s what I think as of today. Today I spoke to him and he said that it is much better than yesterday. The next few days will be important to understand if surgery will be necessary.

Is Cristante ready to play or can Mancini return to the midfield?
Cristante will play. It is true that he is not in the ideal condition to play three games after an injury, but we have no solutions. If Mancini plays in midfield, it’s not like having Cristante. By putting Mancini there I would now be changing the midfield and the defence. In my opinion, we must change very little at the moment, Cristante will play for this reason.

A few years ago someone said, “You don’t play the Derby, you win it”. Do you agree?
This phrase is interesting. I believe that those who play better have more chances of winning. If we hoping simply for luck, the chance of losing is high. I understand this idea, but a team that dominates the game, with initiative and courage, is will get closer to winning. It may not happen, but I believe it.

Kolarov seems a little exhausted while they have Lazzari on the flank. Are you looking for a solution?
Let’s see tomorrow. Let’s wait until tomorrow and we’ll see.

Have you had reassurances about the transfer market? Do you like Carles Perez?
I am very calm. At this moment, I’m not angry with Petrachi or Fienga! They’re working to bring the best solutions to Roma — we’re all together, always. I am very confident that at the end of the transfer market we will have what we need. We are working every day to find the best solutions for Rome.

Is Politano a missed opportunity? Is it a disappointment for you?
No. When we thought of a player in Zaniolo’s position, we had three or four options. We had the opportunity to make a swap with Inter, which didn’t happen. Petrachi and Fienga have defended Roma’s interest well, we have other possibilities. In the next few days, you will see a new player in this position.

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