Roma boss Paulo Fonseca held his pre-match press conference today ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League tie in Austria against Wolfsberger. These are their words:
What sort of game do you expect tomorrow?
We expect a difficult game against an opponent who won against Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-0. Wolfsberger is a quality team, I’ve had a chance to take a look them. It is an aggressive team in defence and they can worry you on the counter.
Is there a chance to let Kolarov and Dzeko rest? Is it time to see Kalinic?
I will not reveal to you if they will play, tomorrow you will see, it is a possibility. They have played in all the matches and they need to take a breath.
The absences of Pellegrini and Mkhitaryan have forced you to make decisions. Would this be a victory for the group if you were able to win?
As I have always said, what matters most is the next match and we will enter the pitch with the ambition of winning as we always do, without looking too far ahead and without making calculations. Pellegrini and Mkhitaryan are not here with us, there are other players here who have my confidence. I am convinced that we will play a good game.
At what point are Kalinic and Zappacosta?
You’re trying to get the formation out of me (laughs)! Clearly I said that Kolarov and Dzeko need a breather, so Kalinic will start. He’s improving physically – the case is different for Zappacosta, he can play but not for an entire match.
Do you expect a physical match like the one against Atalanta?
It’s curious that you ask me this: someone told me a few days ago that Wolfsberger are the Austrian Atalanta. They’re a strong side and aggressive in their duels, but they don’t cover man-to-man across the board.
Smalling has performed well, how is he doing physically? Do you want to continue rotating or would you like to find a preferred pairing?
Honestly, I focus on the next match. I don’t think about it in terms of a pair. Smalling hasn’t played consistently for some time, he’s shown that he’s good but he can improve.