Saturday October 26 2019
Fonseca: 'Few Roma alternatives'

Paulo Fonseca concedes Roma “don’t have many alternatives” against Milan amid an injury crisis and will use Gianluca Mancini in midfield once more.

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They injury crisis continues to bite, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara, Nikola Kalinic, Cengiz Under and Davide Zappacosta out of action.

Justin Kluivert is also suspended this weekend, so Gianluca Mancini could again be moved into midfield after the 1-1 Europa League draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.

“It is possible we’ll see him there again, because at the moment we don’t have many alternatives,” confirmed Fonseca in his press conference.

“He put in a good performance and I see no reason to change again. We looked at the statistics and the game against Borussia was the one where we covered the most ground with high intensity and it was on a very wet pitch. My concern right now is getting the team physically fit again to play Milan, who will be fresh, as they have no European commitments.

“Diego Perotti is ready to play, but I don’t know if he can last 90 minutes. Javier Pastore played two games in a row, more than usual, but we cannot afford much squad rotation at the moment.”

Because of that crisis, Roma have flown in Jack Rodwell and Marcel Buchel to undergo medicals, as they could sign as free agents.

“I don’t want to talk about that, because you know I only like to discuss a player when he is officially part of the squad. Our concentration is focused solely on tomorrow’s game with Milan.”

Fonseca was asked about the controversy sparked by Fabio Capello, who on Sky Sport Italia told Inter teenager Sebastiano Esposito not to “follow the example” set by Roma talent Nicolò Zaniolo.

“I did not hear exactly what Capello said, so I would prefer not to comment. Here at Roma, we all have immense belief in Zaniolo’s capabilities, as he has extraordinary talent. He has to continue working, but I can confirm he has been an exemplary professional since I’ve been here.”

The midweek 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach was decided by a penalty for non-existent handball, but Roma wasted too many chances to seal the result before that refereeing howler.

“It’s true, we make the wrong choices in the final third. Sometimes it can be down to the inexperience of players like Kluivert, Zaniolo and Antonucci. We worked hard on those final passes in training.”

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