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    Fonseca: We want to fight for the fans, the city and the club

    Read everything the boss had to say during his pre-match press conference...

    Coach Paulo Fonseca held his customary pre-match press conference on Wednesday evening, ahead of the Europa League semi-final with Manchester United.

    Thursday's first leg at Old Trafford gets underway at 21:00 CEST.

    Here's what the boss told journalists going into the contest...

    We’ve seen how fired up the fans are for this game – just how important is it for Roma?

    “It will be a really important game; it doesn’t happen every day that you reach a semi-final, and we know just how important this moment is.

    "Today we had the fans sending us off from Trigoria, and it was really important to see and feel their support. We want to fight for the fans, for the city and for the club. It’s a really important moment for us.”

    This is probably the hardest draw you could have got. Does it help having former United players within the squad like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling?

    “We are facing a great club, perhaps the favourites to win this competition. We’ve prepared well for this game. Naturally I’ve spoken with Mkhitaryan and Smalling, as they both played here and also both have experience at this sort of stage of the competition.

    "We all know it will be a tough game. We have a lot of respect for Manchester United, but we want to do well.”

    Gianluca Mancini is suspended but Smalling is back and available. How are you looking to defend against United’s pacy attack?

    “We know that the United attack is really good, very fast – but we’ve prepared well for this game. For us it is really important to have Chris back. It’s true that Mancini is out, but the players I have available for this game give me confidence that we can put in a good performance. However, I don’t think that the defensive side of the game will just be down to the defenders, but the team as a whole.”

    Could that support and motivation from the fans be a bigger factor than the tactical instructions?

    “It’s a big thing for us. It gives us even more motivation. Right now we are all well aware of the importance of this semi-final. That push from the fans can help the team.”