Paulo Fonseca felt Roma were largely “in control of the game” as they beat Napoli 2-1 and praised Gianluca Mancini for “bringing balance.”
The Giallorossi consolidated fourth place and temporarily climbed into third thanks to Nicolò Zaniolo and a Jordan Veretout penalty.
“We played against a strong side, but we started very badly, always passing backwards,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“We scored a great goal, missed a penalty and the team felt that setback, so we lost our aggression and positioning. It was natural Napoli would take advantage of that and react in their own way.
“We talked during the break that we had to continue pressing them high and from then we remained in control of the game, with a great second half performance.
“The whole team is understanding that we are stronger together. I can say, for example, Edin Dzeko didn’t score today, but worked so hard for the team in helping us to defend. That is a great sign and attitude.”
Considering the injury crisis and the relative lack of expectations, are Roma raising their objectives for the season?
“The important thing during this difficult moment with so many injuries is to work together. The team realised we have to fight more than ever, run more than ever, so that attitude from the whole group is what really matters to me.
“We have not won anything yet. We need to focus on the next game, as that is how I want us to approach this season, one match at a time.
“It’s good to be in a position that I feel is right for us, but it’s a process.”
Ironically, the injury crisis has boosted Roma by leading to the discovery of centre-back Mancini as an excellent makeshift midfielder.
“It’s true, Mancini brings an important balance to the team when going forward. He is very tactically intelligent and it’s important to point out he is doing crucial work for the squad.”
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