Roma manager Paulo Fonseca met with the media today to discuss his team’s midweek fixture against Fiorentina tomorrow.
The Giallorossi are coming off a devastating 2-1 loss to Milan in their race for the top four. The Portuguese tactician admitted that his side has gifted their opponents too many goalscoring opportunities.
“The defensive numbers aren’t good, we’ve conceded more than goals than we’d like,” he said.
“But I don’t think it is a problem of organisation. We don’t give away many chances because of that – it is decision-making and the mistakes we make at times. We create problems for ourselves by losing the ball. It has nothing to do with organisation.”
He continued, “How many times did we lose the ball in the first phase of our build-up? Now, you could argue that these mistakes are made because of the way we play. But this is how we want to play, we can’t make mistakes like this.”
“It’s not a problem of defensive organisation. We’re working to improve, but we don’t have major problems with our defensive organisation.”
On the injury front, Fonseca discussed who will return to the fold tomorrow against La Viola. His side has suffered from a number of injuries, particularly in defence, since the beginning of the year.
“Kumbulla is ready and will start tomorrow. Smalling will be called-up but he’s not in the best physical condition to play a full ninety minutes,” he revealed.
“We won’t have much turnover from Sunday. Mayoral will play but since we had so many injuries in defence, it’s difficult to give a break to Karsdorp, Spinazzola, Cristante and Mancini. Pau Lopez will also continue in goal.”
After revealing that Lopez will start again, Fonseca was asked about the Spaniard’s massive mistake on Sunday against the Rossoneri, which led to a goal.
“For me, it’s important that the goalkeeper is involved in the play. However, there’s moments when the goalkeeper can or can’t be a part of the build-up. If there’s a lot of pressure, we can’t take many risks.”
He continued, “However, Pau didn’t have any pressure on him when he made that error. He made a mistake and Milan scored. It had nothing to do with pressure, he made a bad pass.”
“Again, though, we’re working to improve. We can’t gift the ball to our opponent, we have to understand this.”
Finally, the Portuguese tactician was asked if he lacked tactical flexibility and if his team is too easy to figure out.
“Every single team has an identity. Look at the strongest teams in Serie A, do they all have identities? Does everyone change how they play in a game? I don’t think so.”
“Milan, Lazio, Napoli, Atalanta, and Juve always play the same way. What changes is your strategy. For example, we normally like to press high up the pitch. Against Milan, though, we didn’t do this as a part of our strategy.”
“Your strategy can change, but your identity as a team remains the same. The team can have the same identity in various formations, but can you point to a team that changes things constantly? I don’t see it,” he concluded.