Roma manager Paulo Fonseca spoke at a pre-match press conference today on the eve of his side’s match against Bologna tomorrow in Emilia-Romagna.
Roma enter the clash having dropped points in their last two league matches and will look to get back to winning ways against the Rossoblu, who enter the match after last weekend’s loss to Inter.
“Bologna are doing well this season, they’re an aggressive team that attacks quickly,” said Fonseca.
”We’ll have to play a perfect match in order to win. They’re going thru a good stretch, at the moment.”
The Portuguese tactician interjected to express his condolences as Italian football legend Paolo Rossi was laid to rest today following his death two days ago.
“I’m so sad about Rossi, he’s a player I really admired. I’d like to send my condolences and a word of comfort to his family.”
As for the tomorrow’s clash, Fonseca confirmed that midfield duo Jordan Veretout and Lorenzo Pellegrini will be available to start after they recovered from respective injuries.
“Jordan and Lorenzo have recovered. They trained with us yesterday and today in full — they’ll play tomorrow,” he confirmed.
He then addressed the situation in defence as his team will be without Italian national Gianluca Mancini after the ex-Atalanta man suffered a groin injury against Napoli.
”We’ll see if Mancini can be fit for the Torino match. As for Smalling, he was out for a long time, he still has a bit to go before he’s back at his peak condition, but it was important for him to get a run in against Sofia.”
”Cristante will play tomorrow. I’m very satisfied with how he has performed as a central defender.”
Fonseca then revealed that Spanish goalkeeper Pau Lopez will return to the fold tomorrow to make his first league start of the season.
The club’s record goalkeeper signing has been relegated to the bench this season after losing his place to Antonio Mirante.
“Pau will start tomorrow. He’s done very well in the Europa League for us this season.”
Finally, Fonseca addressed the club’s long term vision. The Giallorossi were acquired in August by The Friedkin Group’s Dan and Ryan Friedkin — both of whom have remained mum on their plans and expectations for Roma since their acquisition.
“The President hasn’t requested anything for this season. Our goal is to do better than last season and reach the Champions League,” a message that the Portuguese coach has reiterated in recent months when asked about this season’s objectives.
”In order to reach Juve and Inter’s level, we need time. We are working to get closer. We have changed ownership and the team overall.”