Paulo Fonseca held his pre-match press conference today ahead of the Giallorossi’s first match of the season against Genoa. These are his words:
Your emotions for the first official match as manager of Roma at the Olimpico?
I have already experienced this emotion after we played at the Olimpico, the only different is this one will be the first official match. I am very motivated, enthusiastic and confident. We are playing at home in front of our fans, who will support us, it is the ideal scenario to start the season.
How much has the team improved in adopting your idea of football?
I am certain that the team has grown and has had a positive evolution this preseason. I feel that the team is growing and is ready for this first match. We are only at the start, there is a lot of work to do, but the team is ready.
What does it mean for you to be able to count on Dzeko?
I was very happy with Dzeko’s stay, but from the very first day I was confident that he would stay with us. His renewal leaves me extremely satisfied, it was my wish, things developed with a positive outcome but I always believed that he would stay with us. He is very important, it is a pleasure for all of us that’s he staying.
How has Mancini adapted?
He is growing, he is young and has only just arrived at Roma. He was used to playing in a different system, I am satisfied with his grown but tomorrow the central pairing will be Fazio and Jesus.
Is the arrival of a central defender still a priority for you?
It is no secret that Roma is looking for a central defender who is experienced and improves the quality of the team. It’s not easy, but Petrachi and I have spoken and we don’t want to buy a defender just for the sake of buying one. We want it to be a player that can improve the qualities of this roster, it is important that this is a carefully considered choice – but it is not easy to find a player with these characteristics. We remain alert if an opportunity arises that we can perhaps turn it into reality.
Would you be willing to sacrifice a youngster like Riccardi, for whom there is talk of being inserted into the negotiation for Rugani?
For the moment, nobody has talked to me about this operation, so it means that it is not a concrete question, otherwise I would have talked about it win Petrachi, whom I’m in complete harmony with. Riccardi is a footballer who everyone has high hopes for. He was injured in the preseason so I need to get to know him better. Undoubtedly he has talent, but it is unfair to put so much pressure on a youngster like him and make comparisons. He is a talented young man who must grow and work to improve.
Why hasn’t Schick yet been able to express his talent? There is talk of a potential transfer.
He has huge competition in Dzeko and plus he has not been used a lot. He is here with us, he is training and will be called. Then there are players who need more time to adapt and others who require less, Schick is probably one who needs more time. Tomorrow he will be called and will be ready if he is deployed.
You’re essentially using the same formation as last season but with a new goalkeeper.
I am satisfied with the roster available to me, the players responded well and with great openness to my ideas.