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Fonseca insists motivation will be high heading to Genoa

Read everything Paulo Fonseca had to say ahead of Sunday's Serie A meeting with Sampdoria.

The game at the Luigi Ferraris gets underway at 20:45 CEST.

Last time these two sides faced off, Roma were third in the table. Now you are seventh. What things do you regret?

“It’s true, up until the end of March we were pretty much always in third or fourth spot. Since then however we haven't done so well. For me it is clear: we lost important players during a decisive part of the season. We had a lot of games to play, and being without those players was critical.”

What would you advise the ownership, on how to improve this Roma side?

“I am the coach of the team. I am focused on the remaining games of the season. I am not one to advise the board, I do my job.”

Do you think something was handled badly with Jordan Veretout, Leonardo Spinazzola and Stephan El Shaarawy as they recovered from their injuries?

“Something went wrong, clearly. I can talk about Spinazzola and Veretout, who both played in the game on Thursday. Both of them trained during the week, then they both played against Cagliari - all the signs were positive. In this part of the season we need those players. Given all the signs were positive, there was no sense in deciding it was too risky to play them in Manchester. We had no indications to make us think that.”

What did you tell the players at half-time in Manchester?

“We prepared our approach for the game, which I think worked in the first half. So to then change that strategy, which up until them had worked well, would not have made sense. We needed to continue as we had been, and had been doing well. After that what happened happened, but at half-time we insisted on keeping that approach because it had worked well for us.”

What are your targets now, from here until the end of the season?

“I am a professional. I love football, I want to be a professional and I am motivated to do my best until the end. I don’t think about anything else. I focus on being serious and professional and I think all of us need to be like that. Representing Roma until the end.”

Do Roma deserve to be where they are in the table?

“As I’ve said before, these sort of assessments can be made at the end of the season.”

Could Daniel Fuzato play over the next few games?

“Yes, there’s a chance. Pau Lopez is injured, there are lots of games in very few days – so it’s possible.”

In Manchester did you struggle to really react to the circumstances of the match, both individually and as a group?

“I don’t want to dwell on that game. Now we need to think about the next match, against Sampdoria.”

With so many injury worries, how will you prepare for tomorrow’s game?

“We are going up against a good side. We worked on the plan for the game today, and the boys seemed motivated to me. It’s true that we have selection issues, we don’t have many options, but we will go out there fired up to win.”

What sort of game are you expecting tomorrow?

“It’ll be a tough game, definitely. Claudio Ranieri is doing a great job. Sampdoria are a strong side physically and they play with a great intensity.”

 
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