Thursday February 6 2020
Fonseca: 'Roma are united'

Paulo Fonseca insists that Roma remain “united” after their recent slump and are “working on changing the mentality” ahead of the match against Bologna.

The winning mentality at the Olimpico has been questioned recently and the coach has admitted that they got it wrong during the 4-2 defeat to Sassuolo last weekend.

He vowed to make sure the Giallorossi enter the pitch with “the right attitude” when the Rossoblu come to visit in Rome on Friday night.

“As a coach, I have to understand what happened, like I always have. It’s easy to understand,” Fonseca said at a press conference.

“We are working to change the mentality. Against Sassuolo, we made a tactical mistake, I made a mistake and the players made mistakes.

“It’s about how we started the match. When you make the mistakes, as we did on the two first goals, you will lose balance. We only improved after the break.

“It’s true that we had a good game against Lazio and the first half against Sassuolo was completely different. I think we made mistakes both tactically and technically.

“We are working every day on our mentality, to make it clear to the players that we have to be ambitious. We have played two or three games this season, where we haven’t had this ambition. When we lost to Torino and Juventus, however, we had the right attitude.”

The coach doesn’t want to reveal his starting XI but admitted that Aleksandar Kolarov’s mentality will be important for the Giallorossi and added that Javier Pastore and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be in the squad.

“Let’s see. I have to say that at the moment I have one or two doubts about the game,” he said. “That’s why I don’t want to talk about the players who will play tomorrow. Kolarov is a player with a great mentality, a leader in the dressing room.

“They [Pastore and Mkhitaryan] trained normally. Miki is in a better condition than Pastore, but they will be called up.”

“Pastore isn’t fit enough to start the game. We have options to replace [suspended Lorenzo] Pellegrini – there’s Mkhitaryan and Kluivert, who can play in that position, plus Perotti.”

Fonseca said that nothing has changed at the Olimpico and has claimed they are “united” in their quest.

“We’ve lost a few games, but I will just reiterate that we need to make sure we remain calm and focused. Myself, the club and the players are all united.”

Roma are currently fifth in Serie A, only behind fourth-placed Atalanta on goal difference, and Fonseca expects another tough game against Bologna.

“Bologna mark you man to man and are really aggressive, so it won’t be an easy game. But Verona are similar in that regard and we were able to perform well against them."

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