Fonseca warns ahead of Atalanta clash: “Certainly it will be one of our most difficult games”.

John Solano

Roma boss Paulo Fonseca spoke ahead of tomorrow’s showdown in Bergamo against Atalanta.

What sort of game do you expect tomorrow?
A very difficult one. Atalanta is a great team, they’re very aggressive in defence and have many attacking qualities. They attack in a particular way, they have great players and a great coach. It will certainly be one of our most difficult matches.

Have you thought about changes on a tactical level?
We’ll see tomorrow. We have already changed in other games, but the important thing is not to change our belief and the principles of the team. After two defeats, everything is questioned. We’ve done lots of good things in the past and must start doing them again.

Tomorrow you won’t have neither Diawara nor Cristante. Could Mancini return to midfield?
We’ll see tomorrow. It is a possibility, we had good games, with great balance, with him in midfield. It is a possibility.

Carles Perez showed good things. Do you consider him ready to play as a starter?
I have to be honest: Carles came on and did very well against Bologna. He is understanding what football is like here. It is really different from Spain. I think it will be a very special match against Atalanta and perhaps not the best time to play him. It is a great responsibility, it would not be easy to play from the beginning tomorrow.

You often talk about mentality. Did you also feel humbled after the Derby?
I know there are many questions about Petrachi’s press conference. I am focused on the pitch and tomorrow’s game. I don’t want to comment on the words of my sportIng director. Right now, there is no problem, there are no divisions, we are working to play a good game tomorrow.

How’s Diawara?
He is improving day by day. Next week could be decisive. He’s working well — we talk every day to the medical staff. Next week we hope to see what his conditions are, but the signals are very positive.