Fonseca speaks ahead of Samp: “The team wants to win. Zaniolo? He’ll be back with us in a week or two”.


Roma boss Paulo Fonseca spoke today on Roma TV and fielded questions from journalists ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Sampdoria. Here’s what he had to say:

Have you been working on a three-man defence a lot?
We’ve been working on different systems recently — there’s different ways we can play but we won’t use a three-man defence tomorrow. What’s important to me is that the team plays with the same intention regardless of the system.

What are the chances that Smalling and Mkhitaryan stay?
You know that we want to keep them both and there’s a chance that we could. But right now, the most important thing are the remaining 12 league matches and the Europa League.

How did the situation with Petrachi effect the dressing room? Have you lost your help or do you feel more liberate to manage the team?
Now is not the right time to talk about this situation, the team is totally focused on the game. We have to stay focused on the pitch. The team wants to win this game.

Do you feel that you will remain in Rome regardless of the team that is at your disposal?
I’ve always said that I like being in Rome, but now we just have to think about the present. You all know how passionate I am about Rome and Roma.

Do you agree on the availability of five substitutions?
Given the circumstances, yes. I think we have to go back to three in the future. Since we’re playing so many games, five substitutions is a good solution.

How is Zaniolo recovering and will he be available in a couple of weeks?
He is working well — he started working with the Primavera. In a week or two, he’ll be able to return with us.

Are Diawara and Zappacosta ready to play from the first minute? What about Antonucci’s situation?
Everyone is ready except Pau Lopez and Zaniolo, who are not available for tomorrow. Diawara and Zappacosta are ready. Now it is not possible for Antonucci to return to the team, but he has talent and can be useful in the future.

What changes without the fans?
We’ll see tomorrow. I’ve played before with supporters and it’s not easy. We feel the passion of our fans at the Olimpico so it won’t be easy. However, we have to think they’re here with us: we want to win for them.

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