Roma coach Paulo Fonseca insists Udinese “are a stronger team” than many think and didn’t watch the 7-1 defeat to Atalanta. “Serie A is really very difficult.”
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The injury crisis continues, although Cengiz Under is available again after a lengthy lay-off due to a thigh strain.
“Under is ready and trained with the team over the last few days, but not yet able to start, as his fitness levels are not optimal,” said the coach in his press conference.
“Henrikh Mkhitaryan is improving too, but it’s a slow process and we need to wait a while longer. Unfortunately, nobody has a chance to rest at the moment! I am not thinking of changing too much, as we had good games against Borussia Monchengladbach and Milan.
“I thought we needed an aggressive player in midfield and among the centre-backs we’ve got, Gianluca Mancini is also good at building out the play from the back.”
Udinese were thrashed 7-1 by Atalanta on Sunday, but Fonseca won’t let that result – with the Friulani down to 10 men for an hour – affect his judgment.
“I didn’t see the game. Udinese are a stronger team than that, because in the previous eight matches they only conceded a total of six goals. They are physically strong, compact and defend well. They are very fast on the counter, so I expect a difficult game.
“It’ll be different to Milan, a compact and tight opponent. It’s difficult to play when we don’t have space, but we have to run and fight to create the spaces, as well as use strategy.
“We must be an ambitious team and I didn’t see ambition in our draw with Sampdoria. I talked to everyone and we must always play to win. Anyone who is in this club cannot think differently. The most important thing is to always aim for the victory and fight to achieve that target.
“The next game is always the most important, as we haven’t won anything yet and it’s dangerous for us to think winning against Milan is to be taken for granted. Ambition is everything.
“I must admit, Serie A really is very difficult, as all the teams have a lot of quality, make life complicated and the sides at the bottom can trip up the leaders. It’s crucial to work on tactics and strategy, because every team is different.”
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