Roma boss Paulo Fonseca and defender Gianluca Mancini spoke today at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League clash against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Here’s what the pair had to say:
Are you thinking of a change of formation given the absences?
Obviously in light of the problems I have putting a team together, it’s something I’m considering but we will decide tomorrow.
Santon didn’t train with the group, how is he? Is Pastore ready to do a full second match after four days?
Pastore’s situation is particular and must be managed carefully. We’ll see if he plays tomorrow. As for Santon, he has a fever and we will see tomorrow if he recovers.
Do you think there is a component of randomness and misfortune regarding the injuries that are affecting Roma?
I’ve never endured a situation like this before in the past. I want to believe it’s bad luck. We want to and have to fight against these difficulties. It’s necessary that the player realise we must fight at this moment and sacrifice more. There are few alternatives.
Regardless of injuries, do you think this Roma is expressing your ideas of playing? When can we see Ünder and Mkhitaryan again?
I’ll start with Ünder and Mkhitaryan: they have both started training, soon they will be ready and available. As for the current moment of Roma there is objective data: but it’s impossible to progress and grow with all these injuries. We didn’t do well in the last match and didn’t do everything needed to win, unlike how we played against Cagliari. It’s impossible to reach the level I hoped for with all these players missing. It’s impossible for me to have a consistent starting 11. Pellegrini is out, Mkhitaryan, Diawara, Cristante, Dzeko have all been out – these are all important players. No team with absences like this can reach their level. These aren’t excuses – I don’t like excuses – but it’s reality.
Guardiola has been missing defenders and put midfielders in defence: since your problem is the opposite, would you put defenders in the midfield?
Who knows, it is true that the only position in which we have no absences is in central defence. This might happen – let’s see.
How do you rate your start in Roma?
It started off a bit slow, I have to understand what the coach asks of me and get used to playing with my teammates, but I’m happy to be part of this team and to learn from the manager every day.
Is the injury situation affecting you?
It doesn’t condition us – we all go out on the pitch to play and give our best. It was a very unfortunate series of injuries, we hope it will pass very quickly.
Is there a fear of going into challenges at training?
No, I say this from my experience: we train at high intensity. We have to continue to train and play with a free mind. Injuries are a part of football.