Sunday January 12 2020
Fonseca: 'Proud of Roma reaction'

Paulo Fonseca wishes Nicolò Zaniolo a speedy recovery and insists he is “proud” of the way Roma reacted to their dismal start against Juventus.

The game was overshadowed by the serious knee injury to Zaniolo, who was stretchered off in tears. He has now been diagnosed with a torn ACL and meniscus damage in the right knee, so will have surgery tomorrow and his season is over.

“This is a bad moment and now Nicolò has to focus only on recovering as quickly as possible. We are sad, but tomorrow is another day,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

Juventus won the game in the opening 10 minutes with Merih Demiral’s goal and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, as Diego Perotti’s penalty was mere consolation.

“We gifted a side like Juve two goals that early, but after that we played well and had a good second half, but after that penalty, it was difficult to turn it around.

“Situations like this can happen when you want to play out from the back, because this is the style of football I believe in as a coach. We work on these situations, but they still happen.

“I don’t believe in a type of football where we don’t try to play out from the back. I believe in a courageous football and one that means taking risks.

“Errors can happen, what mattered to me was the reaction after that and I think we played well. I am proud of how we continued the match.”

This was Roma’s second consecutive home defeat, losing 2-0 to Torino, so what changed over the Christmas break?

“Nothing, just the results,” replied Fonseca. “We dominated with Torino and even today had 22 attempts on goal. It’s not an issue of organisation or tactics, I don’t like to talk about individual errors, because the coach is responsible for all of it. I have faith in my players.”

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